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Community Action Partnership of Kern County assistance programs.

If you are looking for support in overcoming challenges, then the Community Action Partnership of Kern County California may be able to help. They are a leading non-profit community action agency and are part of the nationwide network of agencies that can help the low income and less fortunate. A number self-sufficiency programs and emergency financial assistance may be administered.

Budgeting, financial management, saving and guidance programs

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, is mainly operated by highly trained volunteers. They will assist low to moderate income families. It will provide free tax preparation services, advice and e-filing support.

The IDA savings (Individual Development Account) program is an asset-based resource. Money that is saved will be matched by this government funded source. The money needs to be used to pay for secondary education, help with home purchase or a small business launch. Credit counseling and financial literacy workshops will also need to be attended by participants.

The Kern County Community Action Agency Partnership also gives classes as well as workshops on saving and investing. Whether saving/investing for retirement, or for other mid to long term financial needs, there are options out there. There are tips on stocks, mutual funds, money management, 401Ks, and so much more. Find other investing tips and resources.

Financial aid, food and free items from Kern County Community Action

Community Action Partnership of Kern has information on Food Banks and pantries. The over 30 local centers distribute millions of pounds of free food and perishable items to low income and working poor families of Kern County California. They also run an Emergency Food Assistance Program for those that qualify. Find a list of free food pantries in Kern County.

Established in the mid 1980s, the regional Food Bank program aims to reduce hunger, provide free food, assist children and meet the nutritional needs of working poor and low income families in Kern County. It does this by distributing donated canned goods to households who need emergency food assistance. The Food Bank also provides healthy foods to thousands kids a month through after school programs, and this is known as Snack Attack.




Back Pack Buddy Program from CAPK will offer students free meals and snacks for the weekend and holidays, when they are not in school and can't take advantage of free lunches at school.

Weatherization is for hundreds of families. This free service aims to make homes more energy efficient. Only residents of Kern County California whose total household income is at or below 150 % of the federal government poverty income guidelines may be able to qualify for CAPK’s weatherization assistance.

When applying, bring proof of income, your latest bank statement, copy of the latest energy bill, and be prepared for other documents as well. Renters in Bakersfield California must get their landlords signature on an energy service agreement.

If you enroll into weatherization, then a Community Action Partnership of Kern Outreach Specialists will first assess the home. Any needed measures are then installed accordingly. It can provide the home with refrigerator or freezer replacement if the assessment determines that it qualifies for replacement, free installation of carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, floor and attic insulation, programmable thermostat and other support.





Federal government Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) can be applied to at CAPK. It assists low income applicants with paying their utility bills, including natural gas, kerosene, propane and electric.

The non-profit community action agency provides energy bill assistance to thousands of households annually across Bakersfield and the county. Applicants can avail of this government benefit only once in a 12 month period. Only residents of Kern County that meet low income limits can apply. Call (661) 336-5203.

Some transportation programs may be offered by the Community Action Partnership of Kern County. They are mostly for work or medical reasons. When someone needs a job, or to attend training or a class, there may be government car programs for a used auto (or loan for one). The elderly, disabled, and people who need to go to the hospital can get a ride from a volunteer, but most of these are for Bakersfield area.

Resources for children from Community Action Partnership

The Friendship House from the Community Action Partnership provides children from low-income families with a wide variety of educational and recreational services. The resources are diverse, ranging from after school and summer programs for children to dental care, food distribution, medical services and job training for the entire community. Participants of the house can use all the facilities free of charge.

The Kern County Migrant Alternative Payment Childcare Program (MCAP) aims to provide affordable child care services to migrant agriculturally working families through several counties, including Kern, Madera, Kings, Fresno, Tulare and Merced. MCAP works through local teachers, licensed childcare centers, licensed family childcare homes, schools, and in-home providers and give parents a choice as to the type of child care that is received. Admission is granted according to family income, with the lowest per capita given first preference.

To apply, an agricultural worker needs to work in the industry, and at least 50% of their total gross income should come from employment in related industries. This can include fishing, hunting, agriculture or other farm type related employment. Also, children are covered up to 12 years of age and up to 21 years for special needs or disabled children. The parent needs to be working, seeking employment, attending job training, disabled or homeless and seeking permanent housing.

Food from WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a nutrition program that helps new mothers, infants and children below the age of 5. It will help them eat well and stay healthy. it can also educate them on resources and proper nutrition. When applying to Community Action Partnership of Kern, low income women who are pregnant, have a newborn baby or have children below 5 years of age are eligible for food and nutrition assistance by the WIC program. 1-866-327-3074.





Applying for Community Action Agency programs in Kern County

A number of local, state of California, and national programs may be issued. Some are offered directly by the non-profit, others are available via referrals. The main address is at 5005 Business Park North, Bakersfield, CA 93309 call (661) 336-5236.

By Jon McNamara











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