Winter shelter closes leaving many without a home

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
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As Bridge to Home’s winter shelter closed for the season on Friday, staff members searched for other housing solutions for as many homeless people as possible.

By Friday afternoon, approximately five percent of the homeless people who had an assessment conducted on their behalf were connected with housing, Bridge to Home Director of Operations DiNesha Jackson said.

“Finding housing depends on each individual’s circumstance, wants, needs and goals,” Jackson said.

Housing solutions can range from finding room for rent for a homeless person, finding them supportive housing, paying their first month’s rent or reconnecting them with their family. The organization is part of a coordinated entry system, where homeless individuals are assessed and receive a score that determines their specific needs.

Bridge to Home staff sought out other shelters to transfer their shelter’s guests to, but were unable to find any that remained open with an opening.

Santa Clarita Valley is short on resources to provide homeless people, as Bridge to Home is the only shelter and there are limited affordable housing options, Jackson said.

While many of those who left the shelter will return to homelessness, Bridge to Home will continue to try to connect people with housing year-round.

“It depends where the resources are and how we can connect the folks,” Jackson said. “We continue to support them in every capacity.”

As of last year, there were 316 recorded homeless people in the valley. Jackson figures there are more this year, but will verify the exact number when she receives data from January.

Starting May 2, Bridge to Home’s Feeding It Forward program will be open Tuesdays through Fridays to provide dinners and sack lunches to low-income and homeless people. For the first year, showers will also be available for use on the same nights.

For those who want to volunteer, Bridge to Home is currently looking for people to do spring cleaning, yard work and maintenance at the winter shelter.

To get more information, call (661) 254-4663, visit btohome.com or email [email protected]. Bridge to Home’s administrative office is located at 23752 Newhall Avenue and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

[email protected]
661-287-5525
On Twitter as @ginaender

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