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.