MIKC: The Mission at Kern County helping the less fortunate for decades

Posted at 7:57 AM, May 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 10:57:39-04

There is a rich history of giving back in Kern County and you look no further than The Mission at Kern County.

A place that has been giving back to the community for nearly 70 years at their Old Town Kern location.

In the middle of one of the toughest neighborhoods in Kern County, a place of refuge for thousands of people who seek help, and shelter. 

"It's an oasis in East Bakersfield and right where we're standing, back in the day this was a drug home and this home demolished it and made a beautiful prayer garden out of it," said The Mission executive director Carlos Baldovinos, who has been at the helm since 2010. 
He has led the charge to bring the mission into the next chapter of healing lives. 
"A lot of different things have evolved through the time I've been here and it's really exciting."
It was 1952, The Mission's founders realizing a need in Old Town Kern. The original building just feet from the railroad tracks, a place where homeless men would congregate. And the place where a legacy of healing lives began.
The Mission provides shelter to more than 300 guests each night through emergency shelter, a year-long recovery program and transitional housing.
"A lot of them may not have a whole lot. This is theirs. This becomes really like their sanctuary, we really believe in helping people."
The Mission serves more than 300 meals each day, translating to nearly 200,000 every year prepared with the help of many volunteers.
"This is what we do everyday. ... We really believe in Kern County Old Town Kern our neighborhood. If there is a need we want people to come here, and feel at home." 
Recently, The Mission offering state-of-the-art computer and jobs skills training with a donated computer lab. \
"We want to better prepare these folks to be successful as they graduate the program." 
The Mission has also recently acquired a church down the street from its headquarters. It'll be place that will be able to keep women and their children together, while they receive help through The Mission's recovery program.
"Our hope is to open up by the end of the year or early next year. That's the plan. Things are moving quickly." 
As if that wasn't enough, in Downtown Bakersfield is Encore Boutique, selling high-end clothing and providing job training for residents graduating The Mission's programs.