Mission at Kern County breaks ground on 40-bed expansion

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Mission at Kern County broke ground on an expansion to the shelter that will add 40 new beds.

A 2018 state grant helped fund the expansion at the Mission.

The Mission at Kern County has helped many homeless people over the years including Christopher Morrow.

Morrow walked into the Mission for the first time eight years ago. Today, he enters the Mission every day — it’s where he now works.

“It gave me a safe place to sleep. It gave me a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear and it gave me food,” Morrow said.

Soon, there could be dozens more success stories like Morrow’s.

City and Mission leaders officially broke ground on a $1.1 million capital improvements project that will add 40 more beds to its current 148.

Executive director of the Mission at Kern County, Carlos Baldovinos says the expansion will help address Kern County’s homeless problem.

“We know that this is a need for the community,” he said. “We’re at a homeless crisis in our county, in our state. So doing this, I believe is a big step, a big part of the solution.”

The expansion of bed capacity is just one part of the plan. The expansion will also include a remodel of the shelter’s Homeless Intervention Services Center.

The Mission changed Morrow’s life and could improve the lives of dozens of others.

“My goal for this Mission is that we’re at capacity every night,” Morrow says, “because that means we’re helping as many people as we can help.”

Construction on the expansion is expected to be complete by 2020.

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