By Cheryl Scott, President, Rotary Club of Bakersfield Breakfast
BAKERSFIELD, CA.  On November 12, representatives from Rotary clubs throughout Kern County, along with District 5240 Governor Savi Bhim, helped break ground for an innovative housing project designed to provide permanent housing for 12 local veterans (and up to two dependents per veteran) who are currently homeless or at risk of falling into homelessness.  The project is located in the Oildale area of Bakersfield and is funded, in part, by more than $26,000 contributed by Rotar
The “tiny home” project, called Covey Cottages, will include 12 stand-alone, 400-sq. ft. homes, each of which includes a bedroom and a living area, plus a bathroom and kitchen.  All six Rotary clubs from Bakersfield, plus the Shafter and Tehachapi clubs, combined funds for the project, then applied for and were awarded District grant funds for a grand total of $26,080.  The Rotary contribution will fund construction of a 13th building on the campus, serving as the common building, where supportive services and laundry facilities will be available.The project is unique because it is designed to provide permanent, rather than transitional, housing.  Residents will pay rent to the California Veterans Assistance Foundation, which will own and manage the privately-funded project. 
In addition to the 12 homes and the common building, the community will feature a barbecue area and green space designed by a local landscape architect. 
Veterans eligible to live in the community include those who served in the U.S. active-duty military, National Guard, or the Reserves, and who are included on the Kern County homeless “Veteran by Name” list. 
The project is scheduled to be completed by June of 2020.