Shafter farm labor camp could house homeless women

Announcement made by the Housing Authority
Posted at 6:33 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 21:33:53-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — The Housing Authority of Kern County plans to use a farm labor camp in Shafter to house homeless women.

Officials said they are considering two locations in Shafter: one four miles south of Wasco, another a few miles south of Lamont.

Both locations are currently operated by the Housing Authority, but the land is owned by the county.

One of those migrant centers could be used to temporarily house 50 homeless women, in the winter months, when the apartments are vacant during the off season.

However, the potential move is being met with push-back from Wasco and Shafter officials.

Wasco City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez said city officials feel like they are being left in the dark.

"There were a lot of details, planning and leg work that obviously had been done without informing the two cities that could be impacted," said Ortiz-Hernandez.

Shafter City Council Member Chad Givens told 23ABC that all five members opposed the Housing Authorities decision during a closed session meeting on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

"Some commentary from some of the residents is whether or not someone else's problems are being shared and distributed to areas where we don't see a high number of homeless individuals," said Ortiz-Hernandez.

The Housing Authority doesn't need approval from the Wasco or Shafter City Councils in order to move forward.

However, Kern County Supervisor David Couch said the Housing Authority is now considering a third location because of the push-back they received.

23ABC reached out to officials with the Housing Authority to confirm, but have not heard back at this time.