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Several Bakersfield businesses concerned about new homeless facility location

Bakersfield businesses react to new homeless facility
Posted at 6:53 PM, Sep 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-16 21:53:19-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. --- — Kern County's approval of a new low-barrier shelter in Central Bakersfield is concerning several businesses close by.

The shelter will be located off of Golden State Highway and 'O' Street, an area where dozens of businesses are less than a quarter mile away.

Reggie Langendoerfer, owner of Bakersfield Music and Recording Studios, has mixed feelings about the location. While he's happy officials are addressing the homeless issue, he's also concerned about the repercussions of having a shelter near his business.

"My personal primary concern is simply safety ... for my clients coming into my business and secondary of course for my business," Langendoerfer said.

Langendoerfer added that his business has been vandalized in the past by homeless individuals.

Otilia Herrera, owner of Priceless Car Rental said her business has been broken into four times in recent years.

"The cars outside, if you leave those out by any chance, they come and sleep in the car and they steal tires from us."

The shelter may be operating by the end of the year, according to county officials.

Jenny Frank, a veteran specialist at the Bakersfield Vet Center, said the location may provide significant opportunities to veterans who are homeless.

"One of the hopes for us is that it will bring some of the veterans who are homeless closer to our location ... so they might seek out some services.

The county is developing an operational plan for the facility, which would address who the service providers would be and what kind of security measures will be enforced.