The Chamber of Commerce makes renovations including new nursery


Stacie Norris

Group members (left to right) John Heath, Timothy Gobler, Mia Cifuentes, Ian Sharples, and Sarah LeVan work on a nursery

Stacie Norris, Reporter

Spring Cleaning does not have to be done in the Springtime. 

Leadership Bakersfield, a subgroup within the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, will not only be doing a little spring cleaning, but they will undertake a complete renovation of what is to become the new nursery in the Dream Center.  

Located at 520 Union Avenue in Bakersfield, the Dream Center’s mission: “To connect broken people to a community of support by offering free resources and services that address immediate and long-term needs in the areas of poverty, addiction, and abuse, as well as kids and youth membership. 

According to the website for the Dream Center they serve as a resource center focused on finding solutions to homelessness, hunger, and the lack of education through outreach programs.  

Each year about 30 individuals across the city of Bakersfield come together with one goal in mind, to create a better Bakersfield. 

In order to reach this goal, the 30 participants are split into smaller groups and each group works as a team to find ways to create a better Bakersfield and serve the community.  

According to the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce website, the last graduating class of 2017 there were four groups and each group worked on a specific project that included sprucing up the library at the Boys and Girls Club, the outdoor area of the Bakersfield Senior Citizen Center, a food drive for the Bakersfield Homeless Center, and helping foster kids turning 18 years of age to transition into living outside of the foster care system.

The class of 2018-2019 will have a tough act to follow. 

Ian Sharples, a member of the team renovating the nursery at the Dream Center, has teamed up with Jersey Mike’s on Ming Avenue for a fundraiser. 20 percent of the total sales from Feb. 12 between the hours of 3 pm and 8 pm will be donated toward the cost of the renovation. 

Sharples and his team will apply a fresh coat of paint, lay down new carpet and rugs, install new cabinets and shelving, and work with a local artist to create a mural. 

The facility will also be getting new signage which will direct visitors where to go.

With homelessness being a frequent topic on the nightly news for many cities in the State of California, including Bakersfield, this nursery is needed for so many reasons.  

Parents can now go out and look for a job and not have to worry about childcare. 

Also, with the rising cost of childcare, parents are offered childcare services free of charge while they seek employment.