By Victoria Ogas

Flood Bakersfield Ministries, Inc. (Flood) provides services designed to meet the physical, relational and spiritual needs of those who are deeply impoverished in our community with an emphasis on housing stability to promote self-worth, increased self-sufficiency and greater overall health.

Flood Bakersfield Ministries’ Street Outreach Workers (blue shirts) build meaningful and trusting relationships with people experiencing homelessness. (Photo Caption: Flood Bakersfield Ministries)

Flood was born out of a Saturday night alternative worship service at Jesus Shack called “Celebration.” In 2008 Flood, a separate 501(c) (3) corporation, was created to provide quality outreach to people experiencing homelessness, and supportive services to stabilize those housed.

Flood fulfills an important role within the Bakersfield-Kern Regional Homeless Collaborative by specializing in reaching those most vulnerable, who often are unable to secure the assistance they need on their own due to circumstances that include health concerns, physical disabilities, substance abuse, and mental illness.

This is largely done on foot by frequenting places where the homeless commonly congregate and live. Street Outreach Workers aim to build meaningful and trusting relationships over time with those they meet. This enables the individual, with the necessary assistance from their Street Outreach Worker, to link to resources and, for some, to progress to the point of being ready to be housed.

Once a clear path to housing is identified, a Housing Placement Specialist advocates to obtain suitable housing. Flood, in partnership with private donors and community resources, obtains and delivers, as available, furnishings, appliances and household goods to those transitioning from homelessness to housing.

Housing Placement Specialists provide linkage to community resources including health care, behavioral health services and life skills groups. Through regular home visits,

needs are accessed and plans developed to address them. Flood aspires to equip each individual with life skills to ensure that they remain stably housed.

Despite the current epidemic, Flood remains vigilant in serving those in need while emphasizing health precautions. Consider donating to Flood through Give Big Kern. Just go to givebigkern.org and search for “flood.”