Today, Assemblymember Rudy Salas and the Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) celebrated the $1 million in funding that the Assemblyman secured for the Friendship House Community Center. The funding will go directly towards improving fencing and lighting at the Friendship House’s sports field, giving children and families the opportunity to safely enjoy the outdoors.
Assemblymember Salas, the CAPK executive team, Friendship House staff, board members, and community members gathered in front of the Friendship House building in celebration of this new local investment.
“I am proud to deliver $1 million to CAPK Friendship House’s Sports Field that will provide local families and children with a local facility they can be proud of,” said Assemblymember Salas. “Every kid deserves to have a safe place where they can play and exercise with family and friends. CAPK’s Friendship House does tremendous work in our community, and I am proud to partner with them to bring these new improvements to our families.”
This investment supports CAPK’s efforts to raise funds for the improvement projects at the Friendship House including fencing around the green space, lights for the soccer field, and improvements to the community garden.
Additionally, the project will allow the Friendship House’s existing half soccer field to be available to residents and organizations for longer hours, expanding the capacity to host events, sports practices, and competitive games.
“I have been part of the Friendship House since 2019 and the reason I’m excited about the new sports field is that we can finally play softball and baseball outside and many other sports that we can’t do inside,” stated Alyza Aguilar, an 11-year-old Greenfield Middle School student. “I feel I am safer with the new fencing, hopefully, this helps me be with my friends during the day with the new lighting. Thank you for your time and for taking care of our community.”
The Friendship House has been a beacon of hope for children since its inception and a place where hundreds of children have benefited from the programs offered at the Friendship House. Some of these programs include a Learning Pod Program, Afterschool Program, Positive Youth Mentor Program, Summer Program, WIC Program, and more.
“I’ve been a part of Friendship House since October 1, 2020. I’m very excited to play in the new field because now I feel more comfortable playing because of the new fencing,” said 13-year-old Donaven King, a student at Thompson Junior High School. “I’m excited to play soccer, football, and kickball and hope that the community can utilize it as much as we do. And now me and my friends can play outside with better lighting. Thank you for your time and for keeping us safe.”
Nick Hill, President of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce (KCBCC), thanked Assemblymember Salas for always looking out for the community, reiterating the importance of the Friendship House to the community.
“I look at all these children out here and I look at how this Friendship House has actually shaped their future. They have a structured program here, and a lot of different services here. Not only will the fencing and the lighting it will provide more extended hours for the Friendship House, but it will also provide for more events in this community and it will bring this community together,” Hill stated.