Bridge to Home voices support for Measure H

Bridge to Home Board President Hunt Braly, Center, and Bridge to Home Executive Director Silvia Gutierrez, right, speak in favor of a yes vote on Measure H during a press conference held at the Bridge to Home office in Newhall on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Bridge to Home, which provides support services to homeless individuals and families in Santa Clarita, officially announced its endorsement of Measure H at a press conference Thursday.

“We are really invested in this measure and making sure it happens,” said Silvia Gutierrez, executive director of Bridge to Home.

Measure H, the Los Angeles County plan to prevent and combat homelessness, would raise sales tax county-wide by one-quarter of a cent for 10 years to support various services, preventative programs and housing for homeless children, families, youth, veterans, seniors, battered women and disabled individuals.

Bridge to Home voiced its support for the measure, on the ballot March 7, with representatives from the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita, Yes on H Campaign and LA Family Housing, PATH (People Assisting the Homeless).

“What Measure H does is provide a funding strain (stream) that will help Bridge to Home and the Santa Clarita community deal more effectively with year-round issues and help with those who are experiencing homelessness,” said Hunt Braly, president of the Bridge to Home Governing Board.

A conservative republican, Braly said Santa Clarita voters should support the measure because it will help fund services in the Santa Clarita Valley, will only last for 10 years and requires a two-thirds majority vote.

“The money that will be made available for this will come in part to Santa Clarita,” he said.  “It’s important for all of us who live in this community to be supportive of a program that will be helping this community and this county.”

Linda Davies, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley, center, joins a group of supporters for a yes vote on Measure H during a press conference held at the Bridge to Home office in Newhall on Thursday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Linda Davies, executive director of Domestic Violence Center, said her organization supports the measure as well because of the preventative services and affordable housing options it will provide to those in need, including women who have left a domestic violence situation.

“We know that there are 8,000 women a year that are domestic violence survivors that are back out on the streets because they have nowhere to go when they leave their domestic violence situation,” Davies said. “We believe that these preventative services will be incredibly helpful for that.”

Katie Hill, deputy CEO of PATH, said homelessness affects families, students, veterans and teenagers in Santa Clarita who live in the wash or out of their cars.

“As someone who grew up in Santa Clarita, I know how easy it is to dismiss homelessness as a problem that doesn’t affect our community,” Hill said.  “Homelessness isn’t a distant problem that we here in our safe, wonderful, clean city can ignore.  It is affecting our very own neighbors and community members.”

Hill said she also supports the measure because it provides individuals with “a hand up and not a hand out.”

“We know from experience that services combined with permanent housing is the only way to end homelessness,” said Christina Miller, director of SPA 2 CES for LA Family Housing.  “That is what Measure H will do.”


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