UPDATE (9:18 p.m.) — The Bakersfield City Council unanimously voted on a motion to delay a vote on a proposed site for a homeless shelter until Jan. 22, 2020.
The motion allows for time to conduct A cost-benefit analysis on a proposed homeless shelter at the East Brundage Lane site and any other sites that may be available for a shelter.
The council’s motion also allows time for more community outreach on potential shelter sites.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield City Council is hearing from the public Wednesday night about buying property for a new low-barrier homeless shelter.
While many applaud the plan, there has been pushback from a local pastor whose church is about a mile from a proposed site.
The council chambers are to capacity as residents packed the meeting Wednesday evening.
The council will vote on it, but concerned residents are voicing their opinion before the vote.
Last week, the city of Bakersfield announced it reached a $3.83 million deal to buy a piece of land at 1900 E. Brundage Lane. The property is currently the office building long occupied by Calcot and other warehouses.
The property is 7.5 acres and the shelter will be about two-and-a-half times the size of The Mission at Kern County.
The space would make room for 450 emergency beds and it would welcome pets, partners, and possessions.
The shelter would also have wrap-around service providers, a designated area for a substation for Bakersfield Police Department, a warehouse for storage and a cafeteria.
The proposal comes with an adjacent 10-acre property worth $1.1 million which could one day be used for affordable housing.
While the faith community has been a partner in efforts to curbing homelessness, Pastor Ron Vietti of Valley Bible Fellowship has voiced opposition to the proposed shelter site.
He says he isn’t against the low-barrier shelter itself, but the size and location of it.
Valley Bible Fellowship is about a mile away from the proposed site on East Brundage Lane.
A school also sits on the church’s campus and Vietti worries about children being exposed to the problems associated with homelessness like drug addiction and mental illness.
He called it a “recipe for disaster” in a since-deleted Facebook post Tuesday.