BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Thursday night, the St Vincent de Paul Homeless Center held its annual fall barbeque.
The local fundraiser is the only event that the center puts on all year, and helps to provide services for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
"We receive no federal funds, we receive no local agency funds, and we receive no diocesan funds. So, this is very important to us,” Deborah Leary, one of the event’s organizers, said.
Leary says that while there's always been need here in Kern County, she's noticed a definite spike over the past year or so.
"We, we have greater numbers. Again, we're serving 300 people a day,” Leary said.
That's why organizations like hers play a key role in fighting the problem.
She says that while government agencies and services certainly do their part, it's religious organizations that help fill the gaps and are often times the ones out on the front lines.
"All the money we raise here stays right here in our center. So, we can set our own rules, if you will. They're not really rules, but they're our guidelines,” said Leary.
And Leary says that as long as the homeless center remains open, it'll always be a place of hope for those who need it most.
"This is truly need. These people need help. We're here to do it. And I can see the results every day,” Leary said.