After falling on hard times, a local army veteran and his wife are back on their feet thanks to the community’s help.
For 17 years, Carlos and Anna Colter lived with their three dogs in Southwest Bakersfield. They would give back to the community, delivering food to the homeless.
“When I’d get my check, we’d go buy $50 worth of hamburgers and hand them out,” Carlos said. “We’d never imagining ourselves in this position.”
In December, Anna had a stroke. In January, Carlos got injured as a mechanic. He lost his job, and soon after, they lost their home.
After the bank possessed their house, the Colters lived on a dirt lot on Gosford and Panama Lane. They only had a makeshift roof for shade and their white Toyota for air conditioning–but only when they could afford enough gas. They bathed at a nearby Carl’s Jr., and they had no change of clothes the entire time.
They thought they could depend on social security, but no avail.
After just weeks of being homeless, their 14-year-old dog Misty became severely ill.
“We weren’t giving up our dogs–not a chance,” Carlos said. “That’s all we had left. We’ll stay in the field until either they’re gone or we’re gone.”
That’s when Susan Borg stepped in to help Misty.
If you’d like to help those in need, call Flood Ministries at 323-5663 or visit floodbako.com.
After calling for help on Facebook, Borg got Mayor Karen Goh and former Assemblywoman Shannon Grove involved.
Nonprofit Flood Ministries also connected the Colters with the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, or GBLA. The couple is the first to qualify for their new program, which will fast-track their social security disability income.
In addition, Flood Ministries made it possible for the Colters to move into their new apartment. PG&E will be providing utilities until their first disability checks arrive.
“One thing about Bakersfield–it’s a big town, but it’s real small-knit,” Borg said.