Dignity Health in Bakersfield is putting up $100-thousand to address the medical needs of homeless people near Memorial Hospital on 34th Street. Juan Avila from Garden Pathways says the Homeless Outreach and Intervention program will identify the needs of those who do not have a place to recuperate after receiving medical treatment, and then attack the problem from two different sides. “We have to work with the individuals who are currently struggling with it (homelessness), and we also have to work with the children so they can heal from any traumatic experience and have a brighter future.” The one-year, pilot program announced Monday will be a model for homeless outreach in other neighborhoods, in tandem with Mercy Hospital downtown and Mercy Southwest Hospital. It’s also intended to link the homeless population with services they often do not know they can use.

Suzanne Grant