UPDATE (6 p.m.): Wednesday’s barbecue fundraiser raised a little over $18,000. That money will go toward supplies for families at the shelter to funding programs the center offers.
Update (1 p.m.): The Bakersfield Homeless Center barbecue fundraiser sold out as of 1 p.m. But stop by the KGET-17 studios parking lot next Wednesday for another barbecue, this time benefiting the Sheriff’s Activities League.
We’re warming up the grill and getting ready for another barbecue fundraiser. 17 News is teaming up with the Bakersfield Homeless Center once again to raise money for the families it helps.
“I was lost, I had no help,” said Elizabeth Gurrola, who use to live at the Bakersfield Homeless Center. “My grandmother had just passed away, I had no-one.”
Gurrola arrived at the homeless center on December 31, 2017.
“I had just gotten out of Capistrano, which is a rehab, I was working on getting my kids back from CPS (Child Protective Services),” said Gurrola.
Gurrola said she was welcomed with open arms.
“I grew a lot here,” said Gurrola. “When I first came I was really to myself and the women here were themselves, they opened up, I opened up. Everyone helped each other.”
She says the center helped her stay sober and best of all helped her gain custody over her four kids.
“No one is going to open up their doors and feed you as long as you stay clean,” said Gurrola. “Here they really help you.”‘
Gurrola and her kids were able to leave the shelter three months ago and are now living in their own home.
But that’s just one of the many families in our communiy that need help.
Shelter officials say they’re over capacity, with more than 180 people living there right now.
More than 100 of them are kids, people you can help tomorrow just by buying a quick lunch.
“Come join us tomorrow at the BHC Barbeque and you can help families like mine,” said Gurrola.
The barbecue is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., outside our KGET studios at 22nd and M streets in Downtown Bakersfield.
You can drive through and pick up a box lunch with a burger, chips cookie and a drink – all for 5 dollars. For another 5 dollars you can enter a raffle to win a 60-inch tv and blu-ray player!