Supervisors to consider allocating hundreds of thousands of federal dollars to address homelessness in Kern

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Supervisors will consider allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding to local service non profit organizations to address homelessness in Kern County.

If approved by the board of supervisors on Tuesday, $30,000 in CARES Act federal funding will will be allocated to the Bakersfield Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative (BKRHC) to fund temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19.

BKRHC Executive Director Anna Laven said, with the exception of a few cases, the Kern County fairgrounds will be used for temporary housing. Kern Medical has operated 15 temporary isolation trailer units at the Fairgrounds for the last year.

“It not only supports those who are experiencing homelessness, but supports the entire community,” Laven said. “You don’t want someone who is either positive or thinks they may be positive to be in the community. You want to provide opportunities for isolation,” she continued.

While the trailers are empty right now, Lavin pointed out things change week to week, which is why the temporary units are on stand by.

Supervisors also are set to allocate federal funding to the following local service providers:

$221,335 — Bethany Services
$100,000 — The Mission at Kern
$58,140 — Women’s Center High Desert
$8,500 — FLOOD Bakersfield Ministries

Flood’s Bakersfield Ministries Executive Director Jim Wheeler said the funding will help with outreach to men and women on our streets.

“We know where those folks are at. We go and engage them,” he said. “We’ve placed over 200 people in the new shelters since they opened up. We’ll continue to do that. We’re out there every day.”

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