Carolyn Odien, left, and Sheila Wyeth prepare clothes made available for the homeless to pick up at Bridge to Home’s winter shelter on Drayton Street in Santa Clarita last Christmas Eve. Photo by Nikolas Samuels
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Visitors to Bridge to Home’s winter shelter will be able to extend their stay a little longer, as the organization will allow homeless people to stay through March 30.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, one of the entities that funds Bridge to Home, requested that Los Angeles County provide homeless shelters with extra funding to remain open an additional two weeks because of the severe weather conditions this past winter.

“We were happy to extend it beyond our typical two week extension that we run on our own and go to the end of March,” Bridge to Home Director of Operations DiNesha Jackson said.

Prior to the extension, Bridge to Home’s contract called the shelter to close on Feb. 28, but the shelter typically stays open an additional two weeks after that and was planning to close on March 15.

This past season, the organization housed about 170 people in their shelter from November to March, sheltering up to 60 people a night.

“I feel that if we could house more than 60 people an evening, we would have more than 60 people an evening,” Jackson said. “We were really excited to operate the winter shelter season this year in Santa Clarita and we look forward to growing and making it better for next year.”

As visitors exit the shelter at the end of the season, Bridge to Home continues to work with them as clients to find them housing solutions. Often, it is a matter of a bus ticket to reunite people with their families, but could also entail connecting people with shared housing.

“We try to connect people to whatever avenue works for them,” she said. “Our goal is for people to exit with a place to go after they leave the shelters.”

The organization’s client service center also offers case management to help individuals find housing any time throughout the year.

“Our goal is to connect people to as many housing opportunities as possible,” Jackson said.

During the off season, Bridge to Home will run their Feeding it Forward program, where they feed homeless people full dinners each night and send them off with a sack lunch for the next day.

Because of a donation from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Bridge to Home will now also offer showers to those who utilize the food program starting May 2.

Bridge to Home’s winter shelter will open per usual on the Monday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 20 this year.

The winter shelter is located at 23031 Drayton St. and Bridge to Home’s main office is located at 23752 Newhall Ave.

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Gina Ender
Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017.
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  • Randy Griffin

    Its obvious that the entire Santa Clarita Valley does NOT know about what has been happening at the Shelter recently; well here it is folks: Wednesday March 15, 2017 two of the portable restrooms were padlocked so none of us who stay at the Shelter could use them, we all had to use the portable restroom that was placed there for the handicapped, Wednesday night the Handicapped portable restroom was a the point of over flowing with human waste, by the mere fact of the Director of Operations having a part in the two portable restrooms getting locked, she wants to accuse all of the clients for items being placed in the tank of the portable restrooms that she placed there herself; which all of the clients who stay at the Shelter know she has a habit of doing this, we could go back several months ago about when two windows at the Shelter got broke, all of us know how the windows really got broke; and it wasn’t because some one tried to break in either the Director of Operations and the Shelter Security purposely broke out those windows, and Bridge to Home wanted to blame some one else for what Bridge to home really did; then there is the case in one of the men’s dorm where there is NO heat whatsoever; the Director of Operations has been told about this since November when the Shelter opened for the Winter and to this day the heat in one of the men’s dorm is still not operational, then there is the case of one of the Female clients who decided to urinate on the floor of the Women’s dorm and the Female who did this was reported to the Director of operations and this Female is still allowed to remain at the Shelter. Also the Director of Operations allow people into the Shelter with illegal drugs and then when these type of people start making threats toward the other clients and it is reported nothing is done about it. The Director of Operations is making the Shelter very unsafe for all who are currently staying at the Shelter.