For over 4 years I have been a member of the Flood Bakersfield Ministries, Inc team as a volunteer and Board member. What a blessed journey it has been. I have personally seen unbelievable transformations - Tom and Roxanne whom I first met when they lived on the river bed here and now three plus years later they are in their own home, faithful volunteers and even hosted their own fundraiser for us a car wash. And then there is Russel who has lived on the river bed, in alleys and now has his own place, receiving SSI and has overcome his addiction. Patrick who used drugs for over 20 years and is now a faithful volunteer, seeking employment, and received his own housing after being homeless. The list goes on - all this done through relationships we establish at our Saturday night outreach where we worship and bring a short message, serve a hot meal and distribute food packs. During the week we assist with housing, providing ID through DMV and birth certificates. The ministry has grown from serving 25 to 200-400 every week at our outreach. This could all not be done with about a dozen churches, private organization and individuals that partner with us. Only one paid employee, and two paid through the housing grants we and an abundance of volunteers (many of which are our clients) this is a non profit that is making a difference in the community!
When I was first involved in Flood, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the needs of the individuals that we serve. Each week, I began to build relationships with people that had life struggles far beyond anything I could imagine. Yet, week after week, I began to deepen relationship with individuals who were homeless, fighting addiction, and entrenched in generational poverty. I realized that there was a story behind every face that led to the hurts that now defined their present circumstances. Over time, I watched many, many individuals leave addictions and homelessness behind. Many have found work through the resources and support provided by Flood. Many found hope and dignity that they had never known. It is a joy to watch the personal growth of individuals as positive changes occur in their life.