Bridge to Home is one step closer to opening its homeless shelter all year.
At the city council meeting Tuesday, council members voted unanimously to turn over ownership of the property to the nonprofit and issue them a temporary use permit.
The organization can now move forward with plans to keep the shelter open every day of the year instead of only during the winter months. Bridge to Home owning the property will make more Measure H funds available than if the city maintained ownership, allowing for added funds to go toward extending the shelter.
“We need to act and to take advantage of Measure H funding,” said City Council member Bill Miranda. “And, it seems to me that this is the right place to have it.”
And, while each city council member lauded the need for a permanent year-round shelter and the wisdom of exploiting Measure H funding, they bowed to concerns expressed by Drayton Street tenants that the area round the shelter is in dire need of improvement.
“To try and go out and look for another location is unnecessary and impossible,” City Council member Marsha McLean said. “But, we do have to make improvements.”
Council member Bob Kellar told the meeting: “It’s impossible to make everyone completely happy. But this location is probably as good as it’s going to get for a permanent homeless shelter.”
Kellar noted the Drayton Street area needed “improved lighting” and “improved infrastructure.”
And, while city councilors united in rallying around Drayton Street as the home for a year-round shelter, two brothers who own property next to the temporary shelter on Drayton would prefer council members to consider other locations.
“Drayton Street is a terrible location for a homeless shelter,” Lyle Olsen told councilors, citing a litany of concerns.
“There’s no street lights, no pedestrian crossing, no cross walk, no caution sign, with the nearest fire hydrant 500 feet away,” he said. “There’s drug use and defecation in the street.
“And, we’ve never been contacted,” he said, referring to himself and his brother Geoff Olsen.
“Let’s do the right thing,” Geoff Olsen said. “Let’s do the right thing for the homeless and find them the right location.”
Before the shelter on Drayton Street in Newhall can begin operating full time, Bridge to Home must work alongside the Los Angeles Housing Services Authority to proceed.
Bridget to Home Board President Hunt Braly serves told city council” “We worked hard to find a permanent location.
“We looked at all kinds of locations and Drayton Street was the best location in the Santa Clarita Valley,” he said.
Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth said: “We have a professional, responsible, non-profit to take over the operation and we’re found a location that is suitable.
“I’m ready to support a year-round shelter,” he said.
Additionally, council members approved a new pedestrian bridge to go over Sierra Highway to connect southbound Sierra Highway to westbound Golden Valley Road.
Traffic signals on the Sierra Highway and Golden Valley Road intersection and the Sierra Highway and Rainbow Glen intersection will be upgraded and a bus stop will be added on Sierra Highway. Southbound Sierra Highway will be widened to construct a right-turn pocket as well.
The construction contract will total $3,161,502.
Golden Valley High School and Valley View Elementary School are located on either side of the intersection.
The council also held a public hearing to allow community members to give their input on the city acquiring property for the new Canyon Country Community Center.
Council members approved $2,443,449 to take over the property on the northeast corner of Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road. The new center will replace the one on Flying Tiger Drive.
When the city takes over the property, Joe’s Shoe Repair, Hair Wave salon, Osteria Caruso Restaurant and Doggie Den pet grooming will have to relocate. The city has provided the businesses with relocation consultants to help them find a new home.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt