As part of its annual community-wide blood drive, Houchin Community Blood Bank will conduct daily drawings June 18-23 for $50 dry cleaning gift cards. A grand prize drawing will take place June 25 for a $250 certificate to Today Cleaners.

Mobile blood drives will take place this week at Christ the King Church, Delano Regional Medical Center and the Kerr McGee Center in Ridgecrest, or you can donate at local blood banks on 5901 Truxtun Ave. and 11515 Bolthouse Dive.

For the month of June, all donors are being entered to win a Disney vacation valued at $2,000, and three people are winning $100 in cash weekly. 

To make an appointment or for any questions about donating blood, call 661-323-4222 or the toll free number, 877-364-5844.

Donation centers are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The centers are open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Houchin Blood Bank is closed Sunday. 


In the state budget bill for 2018-19 that the California Legislature passed Thursday, the City of Bakersfield and Kern County Homelessness Collaborative will be eligible to receive just under $4 million, according to the Bakersfield city manager's weekly memo.

Applications for these funds are expected to be available Dec. 31, according to the news release.

Gov. Brown is expected to sign this bill, which would allocate $500 million total to efforts by local governments to address homelessness.

Homelessness in California went up 13.7 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to a Homelessness Task Force Report from this year. The same report says that the Central Valley's homeless population is an estimated 7,336 people of California's total 134,678 homeless. 

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