The City of Bakersfield is committed to combating the issues that come along with the growing homeless population and on Monday, September 30, a new cleaning service program was launched.
The pilot program was approved by the City Council last Wednesday. It includes a contract with a local cleaning firm to provide services from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. The services will be provided in Downtown and Old Town Kern only (see map).
The cleaning service will only remove feces and no other human waste (urine), biohazard materials or trash. The service will also not respond to encampment sightings, but the public may report those -- along with abandoned property or illegal dumping -- to the City's Rapid Response Teams via the City's Bakersfield Mobile App, which is free to download.
The $90,740 contract with the cleaning service will run for 90 days and is funded by money from the Public Safety & Vital Services tax measure (Measure N) which was passed by voters in November 2018.
This new program is part of the City's three-pronged approach to addressing homelessness in the community:
1. Acknowledge the crisis;
2. Support/strengthen existing providers;
3. Implement PSVS funds for new programs.
Here is a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the program:
Q: When will services begin?
A: Monday, September 30, 2019, a contracted cleanup crew will respond to reports of human feces in Downtown Bakersfield and Old Town Kern from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Q: How do I get a cleanup crew to respond to a location to clean up feces?
A: You can call or text 661-319-0000. Please include a detailed description of the location to help the responding crew find the area as quickly as possible.
The location must be within the response boundaries (see the accompanying map).
The report must be made between the operation hours (see above).
If the location is on private property, a property owner or proxy must be on-site to give the responding crew permission to enter and clean the property.
Q: What types of things will the crew clean up?
A: The contract is only for the cleanup of feces. Crews will not clean up any other human waste (urine), biohazard materials or trash.
Q: If there is trash found or an odor of urine on my property, will the crew clean it up if I make a report?
A: No. At this time, the contract only includes the cleanup of excrement from properties within specific boundary areas (see the accompanying map).
Q: How long do I have to wait for a crew to show up after I make a report?
A: The crew will respond to reports on a first called, first served basis, so it’s best to call as early as possible.
Q: What happens if I report a cleanup location after 10:30 a.m. and before 6:30 a.m. the next day, or on a Saturday or Sunday?
A: The cleanup crew will respond during their next hours of operation. For example, if a report is made at noon on Friday, the earliest a crew will respond would be 6:30 a.m. the following Monday.
Q: Will the cleanup crew clean up an encampment or illegal dumping/abandoned property?
A: No. The crew is only contracted to clean up feces. If you have an issue with an encampment or illegal dumping/abandoned property, report it through the free Bakersfield Mobile App and a Code Enforcement Rapid Response Team will handle it. The app is available on both Android and IOS mobile devices.