‘These are both vulnerable communities’: Plan to serve homeless in Delano from building that aids developmentally disabled draws concern | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-06-19 20:15:00 –

Plans to provide homeless assistance at Delano’s facility, which serves people with developmental disabilities, have raised concerns from clients and some other urban dwellers who say they may be at risk.

Under the plan, the Delano Association for the Developmentally Handicapped will hand over the High Street building from 6 pm to midnight to a Bakersfield-based homeless service provider. DADD, which closes at 3 pm, states that its operation will not be affected and the building will be disinfected before customers return at 8 am.

Nonetheless, Delano City Council member Veronica Basquez said residents were skeptical of the plan at two city halls held earlier this year. One of the main concerns is that homeless individuals can wander around the area after midnight closure, adversely affecting the clients DADD serves.

The question was, “Why can’t you just find another place?” She said. “Both of these are vulnerable communities. Both deserve their own space.”

However, DADD Executive Director Mike Gutierrez does not believe that serious problems will occur when homeless services are provided from high street locations. He says he volunteered for the building, hoping it would be used to help Delano’s growing homelessness problem.

DADD provides living skills and employment support to approximately 400 people throughout Kern County. Private non-profit organizations help people with autism, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities network and live independently.

“Navigation centers aren’t meant to be done unplanned or without the worries of the people we serve,” said Gutierrez, who routinely “large groups” of clients. He says he wants to help the homeless who are watching. .. “All the concerns people have raised have been considered very deeply before DADD’s board members decided to make this possible.”

There are few homeless services in Delano, and Flood Ministries, the operator of the DADD site, wanted to fill a critical gap in the navigation center. During business hours, the navigation center offers hot meals, showers and laundry of clothes. In addition, social service workers seek to connect individuals with the help of putting them in stable housing.

“We’re bringing more than $ 800,000 to Delano to help the homeless, which can get lost,” said the city of Flood, who said he wouldn’t pay anything through the plan. Jim Wheeler said. “People who are homeless in Delano are not fully served by opposition to this project.”

However, some parents whose children go to DADD have said they are considering withdrawing from the program if the navigation center moves forward. Maria Panuko, whose 29-year-old son only says “yes” or “no,” says she is worried about safety and cleanliness.

“Our children have no choice. They are ill and this is their only destination, especially for health issues, and we cannot rest assured that they are there.”

Rubi Alvarado, a 24-year-old client of DADD with cerebral palsy, said she was also worried about her safety. She said neither she nor the other clients were asked to comment on the plan prior to approval.

“We are the most vulnerable community in Delano, so we want to talk for the voiceless people,” she said. “It’s scary not only for me, but for the students who go there.”

She added that she did not trust the DADD leaders to carry out the promises they had made about the plan.

“I’m not against helping homeless people, but it’s not OK to put them in our building where we go to study,” she said.

The city has two facilities, one for DADD and one for the homeless, which some parents and clients claim.

The DADD Navigation Center is only intended to be a temporary means of finding a better place for the homeless shelter. However, it is of little comfort to families who do not know how their children’s services will be tentatively changed.

“These children are very vulnerable and their immune system is vulnerable. So how can we consider bringing these two groups together?” Of community members who sympathize with their parents for making their families disabled. Yolanda Chacon Serna asked. “The family is not against helping the homeless, but they need a better place.”

You can reach Sammorgen at 661-395-7415. You can also follow him on Twitter @ smorgenTBC.

‘These are both vulnerable communities’: Plan to serve homeless in Delano from building that aids developmentally disabled draws concern | News Source link ‘These are both vulnerable communities’: Plan to serve homeless in Delano from building that aids developmentally disabled draws concern | News

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