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Kern County and Bakersfield Society of St. Vincent assistance programs.

The low income, poor, and homeless of Kern County California are all supported by the St. Vincent De Paul Center and regional stores. A number of churches, volunteers and charities work with the SVDP society in an effort to serve the needy. There may be free food or hot meals, ESL classes for migrants or Spanish speakers, rent or energy bill help as well as free furniture and more in the Bakersfield and county area.

The charity will treat everyone, regardless of religion or race, as friends, brothers and sisters. The organization is effective at helping the poor with meeting their basic needs and can help individuals in a crisis. There are also SVDP resources in Kern County for immigrants (documented or not) as well as farm workers and Spanish speakers.

Buy low cost items in Kern County

A thrift store is located in Bakersfield. The Society of St. Vincent De Paul center sells (at a reduced price) or recycles items that have been donated to the charity. The thrift store is open to the general public. It can sell gently used clothing, furniture, household goods, and other items. If your income is low enough some individuals may receive vouchers so they can acquire goods for free.

All proceeds raised from the sale will go towards funding the assistance programs and money will also go directly to maintain the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift store and care center. Any donated items can be dropped off at the thrift store. Or people from the community can call the organization in order to make arrangements for pick-up. The thrift store is headquartered at 300 Baker Street, Bakersfield California, zip code 93305. Dial (661) 323-7340 to get more information or to learn about the hours. The store is open to the public.

Society of Saint Vince volunteers and staff also help with general shopping and budgeting tips. As living with means, and finding meals/living within income are all imperative to success. There are workshops, tools such as smartphone apps or websites for saving money, and more. Especially in Kern County with the cost of living. Locate smartphone apps that help you easily save money shopping.




Society of Saint Vincent feeding, meal, and free food programs

A feeding site/food pantry is also available. The St. Vincent De Paul Center serves income qualified Kern County residents with free hot meals daily, provides hygiene kits, clothing, snack packs, referrals, showers and even a safe place to spend the day. Many people will stop by during the hot summer months in order to get out of the heat. The main center will also provide mail service for those who have no permanent mailing address. This primary Society of St. Vincent De Paul Center is at 320 Baker Street in Bakersfield, CA 93305. This location can be reached at (661) 323-2942.

Conferences are created by the organization, and these are one of the key resources offered. Many so called Vincentians work with their local church. They donate their time, efforts, and maybe even money to help the poor.

Struggling families can receive food, clothing, companionship, furniture, holiday support and mentoring to the needy. They help Spanish speakers and immigrants get food too, including applications to public aid from CalFresh. No act of charity or given is foreign to the Society of Saint Vincent. People give freely of themselves to grow spiritually through providing service to others.

One time financial help from Kern County SVDP

Individuals will do their best to give neighbor-to-neighbor assistance to persons in need. As part of this process they can advise residents on any available financial or emergency assistance programs. Call to find out what churches participate and that may have emergency funds for paying rent or other expenses.

A major focus is on housing and homeless prevention. The Society parishes can (1) help clients find a shelter or (2) assist with costs including rent or utility bills (water, electric, etc.).  The Neighbor to Neighbor service provides this. There is also referrals to other resources in California for homeless prevention, including government and charity resources. More on California homeless prevention and rapid rehousing.





Applying for help from Society of Saint Vincent in Bakersfield and the county

Additional Kern County St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores as well as parishes operate in the region. These are in addition to the resources and assistance programs listed above. The charity also has thrift stores located in Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg California. The stores provide the low income, children, and working poor with low cost clothing and household goods.

Some stores as well as St. Vincent parishes may pass out vouchers or gift certificates that can be used for buying free clothing or they give financial aid. A wide variety of assistance may be obtained from these stores through the SVDP Conferences. The main location is at 300 Baker St, Bakersfield, CA 93305, or dial (661) 323-7340.

By Jon McNamara

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