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New homeless shelter approved by Bakersfield planning commission

Expected to be located at corner of Q and James Streets
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Posted at 1:53 PM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 16:53:28-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A new shelter to help battle the ongoing homeless crisis in Bakersfield was approved by the city planning commission Thursday night.

The commission unanimously approved the plan to use 1.72 acres of City-owned property at Weill Park at the southwest corner of James and Q Streets.

The facility would be provide 100 to 200 beds, according to City staff.

Measure N -- the one percent City sales tax approved by voters last November -- would provide funding for the project, according to the staff report. Addressing homelessness is one of 13 specific priorities those funds may be used for.

The staff report shows California has seen an increase in homelessness, including in Bakersfield.

The most recent Point in Time count -- performed in January -- showed an increase in homelessness in Kern County by 50% compared to the 2018 count. The Kern County Homeless Collaborative reported there were 1,330 homeless in shelters countywide and on the streets.

The project is budgeted for $4 million dollars, but it's not clear when construction would start or be completed by.