Readers consider homelessness

Carolyn Odien, left, and Sheila Wyeth prepare clothes that are available for the homeless to pick up at Bridge to Home's winter shelter on Drayton Street in Santa Clarita on Christmas Eve. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Homeless: Prevention, not treatment

Last weekend The Signal asked the city what it’s doing to address homelessness. It seems to me the answer is “almost nothing.”

The measly $10K to the Bridge to Home is peanuts compared to the needs. From the block grants, which are federal funds channeled through the city, it appears the city takes a significant portion for “administration.”

The city has not been a role model when it comes to addressing the homeless in the Santa Clarita Valley. The mere fact that some City Council members are opposed to Measure H is a good indicator of how our city leaders feel.

The county contribution is not much better. How can we in good conscience be opposed to county Measure H?

The Santa Clarita Valley doesn’t just have a homeless problem. Homeless prevention is equally if not more important.

Once one is homeless, the return to a stable life is long and extremely difficult. Many never make it and give up hope to ever find stability with a permanent place to live in.

St. Vincent de Paul is one of the organizations that concentrates on preventing evictions. Bridge to Home often refers people to St. Vincent de Paul.

St. Vincent de Paul volunteers work quietly, visiting families in need and providing rent assistance as long as funds are available.

Over the last 12 months, they assisted 132 families in need of rent assistance and utility reconnection. Many of them already had received eviction notices.

St. Vincent de Paul receives funding from primarily individual donors and support from the Catholic Churches of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Newhall and St. Kateri on Copperhill.

As a fully volunteer organization, St. Vincent de Paul sends 100 percent of its income to be used to assist the poor and needy. The volunteers pay for all administrative and transportation costs.

While we strongly support the efforts for a permanent shelter in Santa Clarita, we should not forget the numerous families who need periodic help to prevent homelessness.

It is a lot more expensive to rescue people from homelessness than to avoid it in the first place.

Hilmar Rosenast


Yes on H to give ending homelessness a chance

In her column published Wednesday in The Signal, Katie Hill makes the point that current funding for housing and services for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County is not enough to eliminate and prevent people from becoming homeless.

According to the Los Angeles Economic Roundtable, 13,000 people per month become homeless in this county.

Katie’s agency PATH and other homeless services providers, including SCV’s Bridge to Home, are doing an amazing job with limited resources to just keep the numbers steady.

Measure H will allow us to finally make progress in significantly reducing those numbers by implementing a well-thought-out plan developed by multiple cities, people and services throughout the county. It is detailed at

As a member of the Bridge to Home Board of Directors and a Santa Clarita resident, I applaud The Signal in your efforts to explore this issue.

The funding from the 10-year Measure H will allow the professionals and thousands of dedicated volunteers to do what they do best – end homelessness.

Peggy Edwards
Executive Director
United Homeless Healthcare Providers


Yes on Measure H – have a heart

Those who say homelessness is a cop-out lack empathy and compassion.  To believe it’s a cop-out shows the individual doesn’t know the homeless person’s hardships and desperations.

“There but for the grace of God” – it could be you or any member of your family or a friend who could become homeless.

“There but for the grace of God” – if for no other reason, take into consideration the plight of the children.

These children are thrown into homelessness in despair of what is happening to their parents.

To pay one-quarter of one cent to help a child to live a better life is the least you can ask of yourself. It’s the humane thing to do.

The negativity toward the homeless is appalling. There should be a high priority for everyone to participate in helping these people in any way that they can to lift them out of their despair.

Some say homelessness will never be prevented or solved and “That’s just a fact of life.” This is reckless, selfish and a cop-out.

To raise taxes one-quarter of one cent is not the end of the world. That tax hike could open up an entirely new world for someone in need.

Don’t let that almighty tax increase of one-quarter of one cent make you a cop-out too.

Vote yes on Measure H.

Lois Eisenberg

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