South Kern

Background

Background

The communities of South Kern—Lamont, Weedpatch, City of Arvin, and the unincorporated areas of Greenfield—are nestled in the south-easternmost corner of California’s great Central Valley. Located in Kern County, Building Healthy Communities-South Kern is home to some of the most productive farmland in the world.

The agricultural richness stands in stark contrast to the abject poverty of the region’s vulnerable, predominantly immigrant residents. The area is a destination for people searching of opportunity, including Native Americans who originally lived on the land, Spanish and European settlers, and different waves of migrants, including Dustbowl migrants and indigenous Mexican immigrants.  South Kern is a place where people go to get a foothold into the American Dream.

Despite the dreams that drive people to South Kern, some of the barriers facing the communities include poverty, early death, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, lagging education rates, and waves of discrimination. However, the residents of South Kern refuse to be defined by their barriers. Instead, they define their communities by the sense of hope, resilience, and promise that each new generation of families brings so their children can have a better life. South Kern Building Healthy Communities (BHC) supports residents, youth, and many other stakeholders to ensure that all residents are able to share in the prosperity of such fertile ground.

South Kern Community

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

  • According to the 2010 Census roughly 40 percent of the population is 19 years old or younger.
  • Nearly 80 percent of the population is Latino.
  • More than a quarter of the population lives in households where English is not spoken at all or by anyone over age 13.
  • More than one in three (39 percent) were born outside of the United States.
  • Half of all residents (47.6 percent) live below 150 percent of the federal poverty line, and the average individual earns $11,556 per year.

Focus areas

Focus areas

Residents and partners in South Kern BHC are driving change across many systems and issues.  The map below gives a snapshot of the breadth of their actions (click the boxes under each category to learn more), followed by more information on our top four priorities for the coming year.

Health Happens in Schools
School Climate
Health Happens in Schools
School Climate
  • Discipline Policies and Practices/Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS)
  • Anti-Bullying Protocols
  • Youth Development
    • AmeriCorps
  • Parent Engagement
  • Trauma Informed Practices/BMOC
  • Kern Education Justice Collaborative/Restorative Justice Practices
  • Community-Education System Partnerships
School Wellness
Health Happens in Schools
School Wellness
  • School Wellness Policies
  • Wellness Committees
  • Teacher Training in SPARK curriculum
  • Outside School Food Vendor Compliance
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Youth Development
Comprehensive Supports
Health Happens in Schools
Comprehensive Supports
  • ACA outreach and enrollment
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention
  • Career Pathways
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Food Environments and Food Systems
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Food Environments and Food Systems
  • Community Gardens
  • Kern County Food Policy Council
  • FreshWorks
  • Healthy Eating Programs
Land-Use Planning and Anti-Displacement
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Land-Use Planning and Anti-Displacement
  • General Plan Updates—Health Element
  • Safe Routes to School
  • SB 375 Planning and Implementation
  • Health Impact Assessment
  • Walkability and Bikeability
  • Recreational Facilities and Green Space
Community and Economic Development
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Community and Economic Development
  • Financial Literacy for Families and Small Business
  • Bike Kitchen
Environmental Health and Justice
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Environmental Health and Justice
  • Clean Water
  • Air Quality
Systems that Restore and Heal
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Systems that Restore and Heal
  • Trauma Informed Healing
  • Restorative Practices
Healthy Youth Opportunities
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
Healthy Youth Opportunities
  • Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership
  • Afterschool Programs
Health Happens in Prevention
Public Health
Health Happens in Prevention
Public Health
  • Community Transformation Grant
  • Cross Sector Leadership Development for Equity
Coverage, Care and Community Prevention
Health Happens in Prevention
Coverage, Care and Community Prevention
  • ACA Education and Outreach
  • Medi-Cal and ACA Enrollment
  • Systems for Remaining Uninsured
  • Health Homes
  • Medical-Legal Partnerships
  • Community Health Centers
  • Health Navigators/Community Health Workers
  • Workforce Wellness
  • Family Residency Program
Health Care Services
Health Happens in Prevention
Health Care Services
  • Teen Clinic
  • Career Health Pathways
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention
  • Healthy Parks: South Kern BHC aims to improve access to recreation activities, facilities, and parks by advocating for improvements to local parks, and supporting efforts to make local parks safer and cleaner.  Recent successes include completing  5 Master Park Plans and leveraging nearly $1 million for park improvements. Also, under South Kern BHC’s leadership,  youth successfully advocated for strengthened alcohol and tobacco ordinances in parks.
  • Health Care Access: South Kern BHC works to increase access to better health care systems by advocating for health equity and enrolling residents in health insurance so they can access preventative and quality health care for themselves and their families. They recently opened a new community health center in Greenfield community—Clinica Sierra Vista—which will serve up to 6,000 families.
  • Clean South Kern: South Kern BHC aims to create a healthy environment with clean air and water, and equitable land use planning by supporting residents in monitoring and advocating for improved environmental conditions, holding regulators accountable, and enforcing and strengthening environmental laws and policies that impact the area. Recent successes include the installation of water filtration systems serving more than 4,000 students, installing water stations throughout South Kern communities, and creating 1,200 jobs through the Sustainable Communities Strategy Plan.
  • Healthy Schools: South Kern BHC improves pre-K to adult education with preparation and local access to college by helping parents partner with districts to create healthy school environments and pathways for authentic parent engagement in school wide decision-making processes. Parents now serve on School Wellness Committees. Four districts have adopted strengthened school wellness policies related to nutrition and four districts have adopted initiatives to keep kids in school. As a result of South Kern BHC’s efforts, there has been a 309% increase in students enrolled in Bakersfield College since 2009.

Connect

Get Connected

Annalisa Robles

Annalisa Robles, M.P.A.

Program Manager, South Kern County

Annalisa Robles, Program Manager for South Kern County, first joined The Endowment in 1999 and has served in her current capacity as Program Manager since January 2009. Prior to joining the Endowment, Robles was a senior development officer for the ERAS Center, and before that served as the National Development and Outreach Manager for the Corporation for National Service, Americorps National Civilian Community Corps. Robles served in the Peace Corps in Thailand for three years and focused on small business enterprise. Robles earned her B.A. in Political Science from San Diego State University and her M.P.A. with distinction from California State University, Northridge.

To find about more about Building Healthy Communities in this community, contact the Hub:

Contact
Name
Angel Munoz
Title
Hub Coordinator
Address
7839 Burgundy Avenue Lamont, CA 93241
Phone
(661) 845-2724
Website

http://www.healthysouthkern.org/

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