New efforts to combat homelessness will be taken up at Tuesday's Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Kern County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services hopes to fund the building of a residential complex near the Highway 99 and Highway 58 interchange that could house potentially dozens of homeless individuals as they are connected to recuperative services.
The first step toward the construction of the complex, slated to be located at the end of Stephens Drive, will be taken at the supervisors meeting that will take place at 9 a.m. at the County of Kern Administrative Center located at 1115 Truxtun Ave.
The department plans to apply for state funding to complete the project. In 2016, the state released $2 billion for issues related to homelessness, calling the program by which cities and counties may apply for the funds No Place Like Home. Some funds have already been used by local agencies for projects to aid the homeless.
By constructing a new building that would house individuals directly from the street as they go through treatment, Behavioral Health Services will be expanding their service to the homeless.
“The No Place Like Home project itself is a huge undertaking for the whole state and it really is meant to put a large dent in a very big problem,” said Roger Perez, Behavioral Health Services public information officer. “So we’re looking to use this to our advantage and make a big dent in the homelessness issue on the behavioral health side.”
The deadline to apply for the funds is the end of the month, but before the department submits an application, the supervisors must approve the decision.
“It’s getting better and better every day,” Perez said of the department’s homeless efforts. “From last year we’re way ahead of the game and the hope is we get better.”