Homeless veterans in Kern County may be closer to finding permanent shelter under a government voucher program that’s being expanded. Heather Kimmel from the County Housing Authority told Supervisors today that five new case managers are being hired by the Bakersfield VA Outpatient Clinic to handle the load. “They simply do not have enough staff to use the vouchers that have been made available to our community, and until they’re able to hire that staff, the utilization isn’t going to likely increase very significantly.” A letter to the Board from the County Administrative Office says there are at least 95 homeless veterans in need of the vouchers from the Veterans Administrative Supportive Housing program known as VASH, with 39 of those vets living on the street.

Suzanne Grant