Editor’s Note: To celebrate Women’s History Month, Kern Sol News is highlighting notable woman leaders in Kern County who are working to create positive change in their community.
Rebecca Moreno joined Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) because she wanted to be someone bigger than herself. Knowing that CAPK offers a multitude of programs that help people in various ways — such as low-income families and helping serve the community — Moreno knew that she could help make a difference at CAPK.
Moreno, Director of Community Development at CAPK, is dedicated to helping those who have housing insecurity.
Moreno has helped build and frame the Coordinated Entry System (CES) which started in 2018, and she has also helped develop and build the M Street Navigation Center which opened in 2020.
The M Street Navigation is an emergency shelter for men and women, and it has 150 beds and numerous pet kennels. She is responsible for the program services such as case management and housing assistance.
In 2020, CAPK launched a rental assistance and homeless prevention program. Moreno helped build this program which is dedicated to helping families that suffered through the pandemic and weren’t able to pay their rent. The program is dedicated to assisting families who need help to prevent them from losing their homes.
Moreno has also worked for California Veterans Assistance Foundation as a case manager. She was able to get homeless veterans into housing, and she helped them get established income whether it was from benefits, disability, or a job. Additionally, Moreno helped them write resumes and interview skills.
“I loved it, and I really enjoyed it. I felt like I was giving back to someone who gave so much for our country, and a lot of the veterans are coming back with PTSD, a lot of issues, and things that occurred from serving in the military. I felt like it was just my way to give back and to thank them for their service,” said Moreno.
Moreno grew up in the Weepatch, and her parents were farmworkers in her early childhood. Her mom retired from being a teacher’s aid and her dad became a truck driver.
“Growing up I dealt with housing insecurities. I dealt with having to live with family members for some time and not really having a lot of money, so I know what it was like to grow up that way. I saw the stress on my parents and I know what that is. I think I have always had that desire to be someone that can give back to my community and to help someone that is going through what I went through,” said Moreno.
Moreno explains that giving people that extra push and saying that it is possible can go a long way. She gives back to the community with various programs dedicated to helping end homelessness.
Moreno’s biggest challenge is feeling that she is not doing enough. There is always still so much to get accomplished. She sees the small victories, but she always feels like she could do more.
Being offered the position as the director of community development has been one of her best moments in life because she has worked hard to be where she is at and she can give back to the community.
She advises the young generation who want to be leaders in their community to do it and to not give up.
“Do it. Don’t let your circumstances dictate who you will become. Don’t let your current situation say that you can’t do it because you can,” said Moreno.