Kern to receive just over $3 million for housing and services for people experiencing mental illness, substance abuse

June 23, 2022 /

Kern County is set to receive just over $3 million to increase housing and treatment options for those currently struggling with mental illness and substance abuse.

The funding is part of the Department of Health Care Services’ Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program, which provides services and housing options to those suffering from behavioral health issues, substance abuse, and homelessness. The entire program is providing funding — a total of $518.5 million in grants — to 21 counties throughout the State.

“The crisis on our streets is at a breaking point. Too many Californians are struggling with mental illness and substance abuse, and many of them end up on our streets. We need to change the way we deliver help to those who need it, and these grants are an important step in changing our approach to homelessness and serious mental illness,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. “California won’t look away any longer; we’re helping our fellow Californians now. That’s the California Way.”

The funding will provide treatment beds for more than 1,000 people at a time, plus behavioral health services for many more, according to a news release by the Governor’s office. It is part of a $2.2 billion effort to expand mental health housing and services across California, especially for people experiencing homelessness.

“I am pleased to see $3.1 million coming to Kern County to increase housing and treatment options for those currently struggling with mental illness and substance abuse,” said Assemblymember Rudy Salas. “We must continue to provide our locals with the resources necessary to help folks off the streets, receive supportive services, and create accessible paths to recovery.”

The latest funding will help Governor Newsom’s CARE Court proposal, taking a new approach to homelessness and taking stronger action to get people off the streets and into a place where they can get the care they need. CARE Court will provide Californians suffering from untreated schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders with community-based treatment, services, and housing, and is intended to serve as an upstream intervention for the most severely impaired Californians, according to a news release by the Governor’s office.

“CARE Court is about meeting people where they are and acting with compassion to support the thousands of Californians living on our streets that are hardest to reach, but who need our help the most,” Newsom said. “The proposal prioritizes the most sick for behavioral health, medication, and housing, while preventing arrests and conservatorships and holding both government and participants accountable.

Grants were awarded in the following counties:

  • Alameda County – $18,405,122
  • El Dorado County – $2,852,182
  • Humboldt County – $4,170,560
  • Kern County – $3,138,065
  • Los Angeles County – $155,172,811
  • Madera County – $2,035,512
  • Mendocino County – $7,711,800
  • Monterey County – $3,558,670
  • Nevada County – $4,458,799
  • Orange County – $10,000,000
  • Placer County – $6,519,015
  • Riverside County – $103,181,728
  • Sacramento County – $30,553,889
  • San Diego County – $30,874,411
  • San Francisco County – $6,750,000
  • Santa Barbara County – $2,914,224
  • Santa Clara County – $54,074,660
  • Solano County – $14,332,411
  • Sonoma County – $9,751,915
  • Stanislaus County – $33,369,900
  • Yolo County – $12,500,000

More information regarding these grants and other infrastructure funding can be found at:

Featured Photo: Photo by Henry A. Barrios for Kern Sol News

Elizabeth Sanchez

Elizabeth Sanchez is the program associate for South Kern Sol. She can be reached at