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Kern County's new low-barrier homeless shelter set to house first 25 individuals Thursday

Posted at 12:06 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 20:21:59-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Kern County's new low-barrier homeless shelter in Central Bakersfield has been long in the making amid a homeless crisis that prompted a public outcry in 2019.

On Thursday, the M Street Navigation Center, located at 2900 M Street, will be set to open and house its first 25 individuals.

The shelter, which has a max capacity of 150 beds, originally planned to house 50 homeless individuals during its first phase, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed that.

"Due to COVID-19, we are abbreviating the services. We are following CDC guidelines and public health as well, Community Action Partnership of Kern Operation Supervisor Jon Flores said.

There are already 25 unsheltered homeless individuals county outreach teams have identified to stay at the shelter beginning Thursday.

Those individuals will not be tested for COVID-19 upon entering, but will have their temperatures checked and asked a series of questions about their health.