Assisting both the homeless community as well as families facing eviction, the Bakersfield Homeless Center addresses the basic needs clients. They do this by offering emergency assistance as well as long term support. The goal will be to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in Kern County.
The non-profit offers various solutions to meet this goal. They include short term support (such as grants from the Emergency Food & Shelter Program) as well as more long term case management services, including job placement and training.
Families facing hunger or eviction can get help from the Bakersfield Homeless Center. The organization offers them a place to stay and a free nutritious meal, among other services. By providing clients with healthy food, shelter and a restorative shower, the center offers comfort to the homeless and working poor. During this time frame, there will be information on local rent assistance programs provided to them.
Relying on the generous support and donations from the community, Bakersfield Homeless Center may offer clients up to three nutritious meals per day, and there even be snacks and special nutritional needs for adults as well. There is also shelter in safe dormitories for single women, families and single men.
Personal hygiene is addressed too. There are showers, shampoo, diapers and other items for use and distribution. There is also free access to laundry facilities and clean clothing, and this is also part of the offerings from the homeless center.
Once basic needs are met for the homeless individuals in Kern County, the non-profit will partner with them in an effort to help people meet a level of housing stability. This will also allow them to participate in service programs such as repairing credit or finding employment. There will also be help with receiving assistance for finding a permanent home or apply for a security deposit, and case managers can lead them on the path to independent living.
Bakersfield Discovery Depot Licensed Child Care Center is an essential aspect of dealing with the multi-tier issues that face the homeless population. This challenge of evictions or foreclosures hits every level of human hardship, and it can cause low self-esteem, hunger, and mental difficulties.
All of these can impact a child’s development, so Discovery Depot intervenes during this very narrow window of time for these growing children by supporting them. It encourages communication between teachers and parents, and everyone is given appropriate information and support regarding their children.
Topics covered from the center include how to access free food or proper nutrition, basic medical check ups, and maintaining a safe home environment are addressed. This program is free for those who meet eligibility requirements and allows residents of the center to work on creating a better life for their children. It provides them the ability to look for employment, affordable housing or working on parenting or substance abuse prevention. While all of this is on going, the children are in a nurturing environment that focuses on early care and education to prepare them with life skills.
The Aftercare Program is designed to help homeless clients successfully reach a level of independent living. Oftentimes, individuals lack support within their communities, making it hard for them to sustain any level of self-sufficiency in the long term.
Low income people from all backgrounds and walks of life are advocated for and assisted by the Aftercare Program. Case managers from the center work with clients by developing action plans and strategies leading them to a stable home life. After completing the BHC program, families and individuals are assigned a case manager to assess and develop action plans such as furnishing their new apartments, receiving job referrals and access to child care as needed. In addition, education classes such as budgeting, general life skills and maintaining health are offered.
Aftercare participants are welcomed back to the BHC center for events such as free holiday meals, clothing and other household item giveaways and any other special events offered. The aim of Bakersfield Homeless Center is to offer both short term stability and long term housing placement.
Health, dental and wellness maintenance is an important aspect of stopping homelessness in its tracks. Clients of the non-profit are offered education on the importance of preventative care, abstaining from alcohol/drugs, proper nutrition, maintaining proper hygiene and participating in health checkups and regular vaccinations for themselves and their children. By actively doing all of these things, it will lead them to a higher quality of life.
The free or low cost medical and dental program at BHC treats a variety of often simple conditions for very low income clients. There may be assistance from doctors and nurses for dealing with cuts, toothaches to more chronic traumas such as bruising, complicated conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.
The care given by Bakersfield Homeless Center volunteer health professionals is extensive. Most of the services are provided at the David L Harmon Health Center, and the support keeps many of these conditions at bay, thereby preventing future medical emergencies.
Preventative education and basic health care is offered to clients through ongoing classes at the center. Parents who actively participate in these workshops are healthier and more involved in maintaining their child’s health. They are more likely to address daily needs such as bringing them in for physicals, oral exams and hygiene and making sure they receive timely vaccinations.
Whether facing eviction or currently homeless, the BHC Bakersfield Homeless Center may be able to assist. They are located at 1600 E. Truxtun Avenue, and call (661)322-9199.
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