City to turn over ownership of homeless shelter to Bridge to Home

FILE PHOTO Bridge to Home Shelter donations come from families, churches, scouts and businesses. Helping set up the sleeping quarters with blankets and towels are volunteers Haley (L) and Riley (C) Cabot and Resident Attendant Jayne Patafio (R). Photo Tom Cruze/For the Signal

Bridge to Home could soon open its doors to the city’s homeless population year-round.

The Santa Clarita city council plans to turn over control of the winter shelter to Bridge to Home at their meeting on Tuesday.

By owning the shelter themselves, the nonprofit organization has the ability to do as they wish with the property and could begin operating all year instead of just from November to March.

“The community has been hoping to do for years,” Bridge to Home Director of Programs Chris Najarro said. “We’re hopeful this is what we need to do to move in that direction.”

To officially open the shelter all year, the organization will still have to partner with Los Angeles Housing Services Authority to work on next steps.

Switching from the city leasing the property will add a sense of security for the shelter, according to Mayor Cameron Smyth.

“Giving it a more permanent location provides stability for the providers, the volunteers and certainly those residents who utilize it,” Smyth said.

Having Bridge to Home’s shelter stay in one spot indefinitely will be more beneficial than moving it around as in years past, the mayor said. Presently, it is located on Drayton Street in Newhall.

Property owners surrounding the shelter were notified as a courtesy, according to the council agenda.

If the transfer is approved, the city will process a temporary use permit to allow for the year-round shelter services through Bridge to Home.

Speaking of bridges, council members are set to approve a new pedestrian bridge on Sierra Highway, connecting southbound Sierra Highway to westbound Golden Valley Road.

“Sierra Highway and Golden Valley Road are our major arteries within the city and even regionally,” Smyth said. “By adding a pedestrian bridge there, it allows the kids walking to school to have a safe passage.”

Valley View Elementary School and Golden Valley High School are located on either side of the intersection.

The construction contract will total $3,161,502.

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