Serving the community since 1970

Shafter Healthy Start a hub for families in need

Series: 3 | Story 1

Shafter Healthy Start has been focusing on helping families during the pandemic with food, clothing and information.

"There have been many times when we have given residents and their families much needed assistance in the way of food, clothing, information on the different organizations that can assist them further," Director of the Shafter Healthy Start Mayra Helo said. "We are the 2-1-1 for the Shafter area and also the northern Kern County community."

Helo recently gave a presentation to the City Council about the group's efforts during the pandemic.

Shafter Healthy Start works with 97 different partners and organizations that help those in need in Kern County. Among those organizations are Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, City of Shafter, Richland School District, Omni Family Health, several churches, Community Action Partnership of Kern and U.S. Social Security Administration.

Helo gave an example of what things can be done when they are all working together for one goal. She said that they recently had a case in which they received a referral regarding a woman who was deceased, who left behind a 5-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. The only next of kin was an uncle who had a child of his own. He now had three children to care for and didn't know what he could do to seek help.

Helo and her team stepped in and worked as a liaison for over a dozen different organizations that assisted this family in need. Among those services rendered were burial support, medical help, community counseling services, individual community members who came to help with clothing, sheets, etc..., and Jesus Saves Church who helped the family with food and other necessities.

"This is just one of hundreds of examples of the wonderful cooperation we have in this community," said Helo.

Helo said that the positive results are due to the Shafter Healthy Start Resource Center combining its efforts with other agencies to support the families in our communities.


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