Bakersfield Burrito Project celebrates 9 years feeding homeless, founder faces homelessness herself

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The Bakersfield Burrito Project celebrated nine years of feeding Bakersfield’s homeless community Sunday, but now the founder faces homelessness herself after receiving an eviction notice from her landlord.

Belinda Lopez Rickett started the Bakersfield Burrito Project in 2009 with 27 bean, rice and cheese burritos.

“It is a great meal with complex carbohydrates and complimentary proteins and it can meet just about everybody’s dietary needs,” Rickett said.

The organization now feeds more than 100 people every Sunday at Mill Creek Community Christian Church and another 40 throughout the Oildale community.

“We like to help our community out,” Rickett said. “And it’s not just the homeless, it’s anyone who is hungry.”

This weekend, the Burrito Project served up a 25-foot long burrito at Mill Creek Park to about 150 people for it’s anniversary celebration. It also handed out hygiene kits and clothing.

But as Rickett feeds Bakersfield’s homeless every weekend, she is facing homelessness herself.

“People are surprised I’m here, but I can’t think of any other time to be here,” Rickett said. “I’m here to help people regardless of my situation.”

Rickett and her family have been renting a house for five years. Now, her landlord wants his house back. They were served with a 60-day eviction notice around the time much of their savings was spent traveling to watch her daughter who is serving in the marines get married.

With no savings and an unexpected move, they are asking for help.
     
“We would take just about any place in Bakersfield if it’s affordable to us,” Rickett said. “And that’s the problem that we are having, is finding some place that’s affordable to us.”

The Ricketts have to be out of their house by Monday morning.

Their kids are staying with family, but she and her husband are not sure where they will sleep.

There is a Facebook fundraiser to help the family.

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