Our Mission

To put an end to homelessness in Kern County through collaborative planning and action. 

The KCHC is the agency designated to oversee HUD CoC funds for the Bakersfield / Kern County geographical area which is known as the "Continuum of Care" (CoC).

 

HISTORY

1986 -    Bakersfield City Council and the Kern County Board of Supervisors appoints a Kern County Homeless Coalition Task Force to recommend solutions to end homelessness.

1998 -   A formal CoC program was formed and when the County of Kern and City of Bakersfield elect not to serve as Collaborative Applicant. United Way of Kern County, in an effort to retain homelessness in funds in Kern, agrees to serve as fiscal sponsor and Collaborative Applicant.

2005 -   The KCHC is named, adopts official bylaws, establishes a board known as "The Steering Committee" made up of all voting members and committee chairs; and begins the creation of the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, led by Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall.

2008 -   Home First, the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness launches as a living document.

2011 -   The first Point in Time Count is conducted (and planned biannually as required by HUD). The federal government dictates that the national Count (a snapshot in time) will be held in January which is statistically the month of highest recordings of homelessness.

2013 -   The Home First initiative, combined with The HEARTH Act and Subtitle C of Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, brings focus to the structured work of preventing and ending homelessness in Kern County via:

  • Promotion of a communitywide work including “community data” vs. “agency data”;
  • Funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, states and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals (including unaccompanied youth) and families, while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families and communities by homelessness;
  • Promoting access to, and effective utilization of, mainstream programs by homeless individuals and families (with their ongoing input); and
  • Optimization of self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The Collaborative determines to conduct the Point in Time Count annually due to the transitory nature of homelessness in Kern, between the Bay Area and Los Angeles; and rapidly changing homeless trends. 

2014 -    A new governance structure is established (replacing bylaws), an inaugural Governing Board of fifteen members (replaces the Steering Committee) is voted in by the full membership. The Charter facilitates compliance with most recent federal regulations and guidelines of The HEARTH Act. The Board commits to exploring local gaps and duplication, increased community coordination and planning, and empowers Committees to be about the strategic work of ending and preventing homelessness.

2016 -    HUD requires counties, cities to collaborate with CoC's (the KCHC) in order to access Emergency Solution Grants. Mayor Harvey L. Hall is honored as the first Board Member Emeritus.

2017 -    The Home First Ten Year Plan is reviewed (as it culminates in 2018) and begins creation of an Annual Action Plan, to provide further structure and accountability. The Plan is derived from the Ten Year original document, reviewed by committees then the membership. (Next steps: The Board will review the Plan for submission to the full nembership at the fall Full Membership meeting.)