CAPK Program and Service Updates COVID-19

 Community Action Partnership of Kern is committed to “Helping people…Changing Lives.” In today’s extraordinary environment CAPK will continue to do everything in its power to keep those we serve safe while doing all we can to improve the lives of families in Kern, San Joaquin and San Bernardino Counties. Please review this updated information about CAPK services. Call 2-1-1 to connect immediately with assistance from CAPK and from 1,500 other social service agencies and organizations. To receive up-to-date informational links regarding the Coronavirus, please text KERN COVID to 898-211.

Head Start/Early Head Start/State Child Care facilities:  Providing for the safety and health of our young students is part of everyday life at CAPK Head Start. That is why, after serious consideration, we followed the direction of the Director of the Office of Head Start in the Administration for Children & Families, the State of California, the Kern County Public Health Department and the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and closed our Kern County Head Start and Early Head Start Centers effective at the end of the day on Tuesday, March 17. Our San Joaquin County Head Start Centers closed on March 9. It is our sincere belief that this measure is imperative in order to minimize the risk presented to our children and their families by the COVID-19 virus. Kern County Head Start Center closures have been extended until May 5. San Joaquin Head Start, in compliance with the San Joaquin County Public Health Services and the San Joaquin County Office of Education, will remain closed through April 17. Closure of CAPK Head Start Centers beyond these dates will be determined and announced as needed.

CAPK Head Start operates 32 Head Start Centers in Kern County and 7 Head Start Centers in San Joaquin counties. All facilities in both counties will be impacted by this decision.

CalWorks Home Visitation:  The CalWorks Home Visitation Program continues to operate at this time. Staff are working directly with clients through telephone and email systems.

Friendship House Community Center Friendship House’s after-school program remains open with participation capped at 50 students. Students are separated into groups of 10 or less in separate rooms to comply with safety directions from State local health agencies.

Food distributions and other Friendship House Community Center activities have been canceled in the interest of safety.

Shafter Youth Center:  Shafter Youth Center’s afterschool program remains open under modified conditions. Food distributions have been canceled in the interest of safety.

CAPK Food Bank: The Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank remains open and is working hard to make sure food is available to families in need during this unprecedented time.

Food will continue to be delivered to our partner food pantries and distribution sites in every corner of  Kern County. Call 2-1-1 to find when and where you can pick up food.

Volunteers are critical to the Food Bank’s ability to deliver more than 1.7 million of pounds of food to the public each month. If you can help in this extraordinary time of need please call 398-4520 and ask for Wendy Andrade or Albert Garza. You can also e-mail them at agarza@capk.org or wandrade@capk.org.

Migrant Childcare:  Our Migrant Childcare Alternative Payment program remains operational. Clients who use this program to find childcare across California are encouraged to call if they have any questions or concerns regarding the program.

East Kern Family Resource Center (Mojave): The East Kern Family Resource Center continues to operate. The Play & Learn classroom will be closed. Case management services will be conducted through phone or video conferencing.

CalFresh Healthy Living:  Nutrition and Health education activities and classes serving CalFresh participants have been cancelled.  Staff will be helping the CAPK Food Bank to get nutritious food to families across Kern County.

AmeriCorps:  CAPK’s new AmeriCorps members will be helping the CAPK Food Bank get nutritious food to families across Kern County.

WIC Community Action Partnership of Kern’s Women, Infants and Children program is in full operation using telephones and other communication technologies to provide assistance and education to young families. The new WIC card allows staff to connect families with their benefits without meeting in person.

Energy Program: Utility Assistance services provided by CAPK Energy will continue to be available to eligible low-income residents. Applications for services should be mailed or dropped off at our CAPK Energy Offices at 300 19th Street, Bakersfield CA 93301. On-site client assistance will be limited to a case-by-case basis to protect the public.

PG&E and Southern California Edison have issued notices that they will suspend utility shutoffs in the current circumstances.

The CAPK Energy in-home weatherization program, in the interest of protecting our clients, will not operate at this time.

VITA: CAPK’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will continue to operate in order to provide no-cost assistance to clients during this unique tax season. Face-to-face appointments will not be held.

Beginning on Tuesday, March 24, VITA will be accepting “drop-off” paperwork at their offices at 300 19th Street in downtown Bakersfield on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Taxes will be accepted and completed within 72 hours using the following steps to facilitate client and employee safety.

  1. Clients who call or walk in will be provided a folder with instructions on what paperwork and tax documents to place inside.
  2. VITA Staff will do a brief review of the materials when clients present the packet. Staff will call the taxpayer with any additional questions the encounter during preparation of the tax documents.
  3. When the tax documents are completed the taxpayer will receive a call from VITA staff to come pick up their documents.
  4. Client will pick up the completed tax documents at 300 19th Street.

2-1-1 Information and Referral System: CAPK’s 2-1-1 service is in full operation, linking the public with human services assistance from 1,500 agencies at all times of the day and night 365 days a year. Please call 2-1-1 or visit our website at www.211kerncounty.org and talk to our call center staff about your need today.