Hundreds of empty beds that could be used by Kern County's homeless, but aren't. With shelters already overcrowded. It's become crucial to get these beds operational.
There are nearly 200 beds for the homeless sitting empty right now in Bakersfield. Organizations say they can't offer the beds up because they don't have the money.
"We have 40 beds available," said Jan Casteel-Fluery, Program Administrator for New Life Training Center.
Casteel-Fluery said there's plenty of people to fill their beds but not enough funding to do so.
"We have this facility. We have these beds and we need help," said Casteel-Fluery.
At the Kennemer Center it's the same story. They have about 150 beds most empty because they don't have enough funding to cover costs that come with housing the homeless, like extra electricity used, more blankets and food.
"We have the potential to add to add 200 beds if we can find operational money," said Kim Albers, Executive Director of two local non-profits, FLOOD and Garden Pathways, as well as a member of the Kern County Homeless Collaborative.
Albers said since prison realignment, here has been an increase in the homeless population in Bakersfield. That's because more inmates are being released and many of them don't have a place to stay.
"We're hoping some of the family takes them back in but usually by the time they get out the family is burned out," said Casteel-Fluery.
These inmates can stay at the Bakersfield Rescue Mission and some at the Bakersfield Homeless Center but those places reach capacity each night which means sometimes people are turned away.
"When you have a guy that's out sleeping in the park that has a mental illness and needs services and you have an empty bed, I hope it's frustrating for everyone that we have not made those connections happen," said Albers.
There's about a million dollars in county realignment funding available for the facilities with empty beds through an application process. These two facilities are hoping they get a portion of that money otherwise they will have to rely on donations to operate.
"We really do need the community to help us," said Casteel-Fluery.