The goal of Flood Bakersfield Ministries is to help the working poor. Resources are available for families with children as well as the vulnerable, such as seniors and disabled. While many programs are offered, such as a service referred to as Fill a Bag of Groceries, some of those under highest demand in Kern County include help to prevention evictions, free food from a pantry, and of course job placement.
There are some cases in which grants or funds may be available for household expenses, such as back rent or heating bills. In these instances, the charity may have some of its own money for these costs, or they will refer eligible clients to financial aid programs. As there may be funding available from other government agencies or non-profits.
When it comes to housing, Flood Bakersfield Ministries tries to help residents access shelter or transition to permanent housing. However, the goal is to always prevent an eviction to begin with, as that is less expensive for the agencies that provide help, and of course it is much better for the struggling family as well.
As noted, the number one goal is on homeless prevention. This will help families or individuals that are at risk of eviction, and allow them to continue to live in their home or apartment. There may be limited funding for back rent as part of this, or case managers will try to mediate a solution with the landlord.
Shelters in Kern County are for families in crisis or that are on the streets and do not have a place to live. There are emergency shelters located for individuals with no other options, and some sites are for veterans or children. So they may offer specialized services.
Anyone in a short term housing unit will be given access to advice and ongoing support services. This will range from everything from food or a meal to educational support such as GED or job training. This is for those who are working to obtain permanent housing.
The short term housing will also arrange employment services. This will assist individuals who are enrolled in the programs, and people can work with specialists on finding jobs in California, furthering their education, and advancing their careers.
The low income and homeless can receive stabilization services. This will help tenants who have entered permanent housing and it is designed to help them remain housed. Parts of this include Rapid Re-Housing, which places families directly in permanent homes or low income apartments so that they can avoid a lengthy stay in shelter. Employment is also available for adults and youth as they work towards all parts of job readiness.
When possible, some clients will receive a rental subsidy which allows them to pay their rent or deposits on time, and will help them focus on saving money and becoming self sufficient. During this time, case managers work with clients to develop plans for their long term stability.
Clothing Banks receive a number of new or gently used clothes from donations by the community. The center from Flood Ministries will accept only gently used or new clothing (professional, casual, school items or dressy) and shoes as well as coats of all sizes and styles. The sizes are for infant through adult. They also offer housewares items such as towels, blankets and sheets.
Food banks in Kern County offer supplemental and emergency groceries to families and low income individuals. There is everything from canned goods to soups, meats, pasta, and more. Customers may visit the food pantry a limited number of times per month and year.
Volunteers from Bakersfield help the charity as part of Fill a Bag of Groceries. This involves local food drives, and the community may donate everything from soup to peanut butter or baby formula for infants. The main number is 661-323-5663.
Most of the food at the local pantries are donated through individuals or local businesses, and there are also fund raisers that take place. Volunteers from Flood Bakersfield Ministries or churches pick up items such as frozen meat, produce and other groceries from area stores or restaurants each week. They also have special training to handle the food items properly so it can be properly served.
Employment assistance can include job search basics and development, such as workplace ethics as well as general career exploration. There can also be limited paid, on-the-job training arranged through internships. All training is coupled with case management support to help a participant set and reach goals. Many of the programs from Flood Bakersfield Ministries also offer an education component.
Dozens of people call on the charity each day. They can learn about job training, substance abuse intervention, school programs, and more. The main location is at 3509 Union Avenue, Bakersfield, California 93305. Residents can dial 661-323-5663 for referrals.
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