Kern County M Street Navigation Center

M-Street Navigation Center

Kern County Navigation Center

Tour the site with the shelter provider, Sprung Structures x RPM


In May 2020, Kern County opened M Street Navigation Center, located at 2900 M Street near downtown Bakersfield. The 150-bed facility is owned by the County of Kern and operated by Community Action Partnership of Kern and designed to be a 24-hour facility providing shelter beds, meals, laundry services, medical assessment, sole personal care, mental health, pet care, housing placement assistance, and employment assistance to unsheltered individuals who face significant barriers to supportive housing care.


  • Kern County experienced a 95% increase in its homeless population since 2017, outgrowing its existing service’s infrastructure and needing to add shelter space in an expedient amount of time. There are 1,580 individuals experiencing homelessness in Kern County and a new facility was needed to house, serve and heal the growing population. Kern County required a facility to effectively shelter and transition their homeless population into long term supportive and affordable housing.

Mission: Provide an alternative to encampments to help move people off the streets, through bridge housing facilities, and into long-term housing.


Owner: Kern County (Kern County Parks and Recreation)

Previous Use: Storage site for Kern County Parks and Recreation

Use Arrangement: County owns the land and has a case managment agreement with CAPK to operate the site.

Site Selection Criteria Considerations: ___



Upfront Development*$3 millionFully funded by The Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) program – see notes below.
Cost Per Bed*$20k150 beds in total
Operating Costs*$2.16 million/yearFully funded by The Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) program – see notes below. 

(budget source)

Cost Per Bed*$13k/year$37/bed/night 


Funding Notes

Funding Notes

  • State – The Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) program provides a permanent source of funding to cities and counties to help meet the unmet need for affordable housing and increase the supply of affordable housing units. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) released its first Notice of Funding Availability for these funds on February 26, 2020.
  • HCD requires entitlement jurisdictions to use PLHA funds to increase the supply of affordable housing. In order to receive PLHA funds, the County is required to submit a PLHA Plan (Plan) detailing the manner in which allocated funds will be used; a description of the way the County will prioritize investments that increase the supply of housing for households at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI); a description of how the Plan is consistent with the programs set forth in the County’s Housing Element; and evidence that the Plan was authorized and adopted by resolution by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and that the public had an adequate opportunity to review and comment on its content.
  • City – On November 6, 2018, voters within the City of Bakersfield approved Measure N, known as Bakersfield Public Safety & Vital City Services Measure. The Measure is a locally controlled one-cent sales tax measure that will provide approximately $58 million annually to the City of Bakersfield to address top community priorities including enhancing public safety, reducing homelessness and bolstering economic development activities. The Measure is effective April 1, 2019, within the City of Bakersfield.


Lead Deal CoordinatorKcseal2017 Housing Innovation CollaborativeKern County
Community EngagementKcseal2017 Housing Innovation CollaborativeKern County
Construction ManagementRpm Logo 01 Housing Innovation CollaborativeRPM
Shelter Vendor / ManufacturerDownload 1 Housing Innovation CollaborativeSprung Structure
On-Site Assembly Rpm Logo 01 Housing Innovation CollaborativeRPM


Design Notes


  • 8,400 sf  bridge shelter  (80’ wide by 105’ long) and a 4,500 sf administration building (60′ wide by 75′ long).
  • Sprung Structures supplied the building materials in a matter of
    weeks, and the shorter erection timeline of the all-bolt, aluminum substructure, was instrumental in becoming operational within 4 months. The county relied on RPM Team, a turnkey management firm specializing in Sprung Structures, to manage the design and construction process. With only 1.5 acres of buildable land, RPM’s architect squeezed two Sprung’s to fit the site that will sleep 150 at night and serve 300 during the day. RPM worked with the navigation center’s operator, the Community Action
    Partnership of Kern to finalize the design, along with their service partners consisting of Kern Medical,
    Behavioral and Recovery, the Housing Authority, Employers Training Resource, and the Sheriff’s
    Department. In a rapid design-build approach, RPM led their construction teams during design, allowing construction to run concurrently with design, ensuring a 4 month delivery schedule. Acting as the budget watchdog, RPM also coordinated the bathroom and shower manufacturers to build the ancillary support facilities off site in order to keep prevailing wage rates low and keep the overall budget in line with the
    emergency funding.
  • The navigation center includes laundry, a warming kitchen, dining hall, intake lobby, medical room, break room, staff rest rooms, operator room, operation manager’s office, 4 meeting rooms/offices, shower facilities, and an unisex ADA bathroom trailer. Also provided is personal storage for all 150 guests, dog kennel, and a wellness day center that resembles a cafe.
    After breaking ground in December of 2019, the M Street Navigational Center was operational at the beginning of May 2020.
  • In the process of bringing a fountain/water feature on-site to drown out the noise of the nearby trains (adjacent to rail road tracks)


Lead Operators:

Download Housing Innovation Collaborative

OperatorCommunity Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) – Since 1965, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) has provided an integrated network of services as
the official anti-poverty agency in Kern County. One of more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies nationwide, CAPK is one of the largest 501(c)(3) organizations in Kern County, but its service footprint extends throughout central California, including Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Merced, Madera, Mariposa, San Bernardino and San Joaquin Counties. CAPK administers fifteen programs aimed at meeting children, families and individuals at their point of need. (source: annual report)
Agreement3-year case management agreement with Kern County.
  • 17 day-shift workers
  • Shelter Manager
  • Program Supervisor
  • Logistic Coordinators
  • Case Managers
  • Security
  • Janitorial
  • Back-end Admin
Services ProvidedCAPK provides wraparound services, which include intensive case management, linkages to medical and mental health support, groups and classes for self- awareness. In addition, we focus on housing navigation and employment assistance such as resume building, interview preparation. These services are designed to help people move into – and stay – in permanent housing. 

Security, meal service, and janitorial services are subcontracted by CAPK.

  • ~$37/bed/night operating costs
Operating Expenses
  • On-Site Personnel
  • Maintenance
  • Client Services, meals


Operation Notes


  • CAPK is a nonprofit that has done work with Kern County in the past
  • Local preference policy at shelters – men and women over 18 years old
  • As of September 2020, the facility remains at one-third of occupancy capacity (50 of the 150-bed capacity) to follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, etc. during the pandemic
  • All meals served individual and cold – no open buffet food options available due to pandemic

Relevant Materials

Kern County’s Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) Plan presented to HCD (link)

M Street Website

Construction Time-lapse video