City to use grant funds to hire homelessness consultant

Officials discuss Measure H funding at the City Planning Grant Kick Off on Nov. 29, 2017. Courtesy of Ashley Kaplan on behalf of United Way.

The City of Santa Clarita plans to use grant funding to hire a consultant to help decide the best strategies for attaining and spending funds in their effort to combat homelessness.

“We want to be more proactive to meet the needs and provide relief through Measure H funding,” Assistant to the City Manager Jerrid McKenna said.  

Santa Clarita was one of 47 cities to receive a Home for Good Funders Collaborative grant provided by United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Los Angeles County.

The grant allows cities to plan how to maximize Measure H funds, the quarter-cent sales tax approved by voters in March to combat and prevent homelessness.

City staff decided the best way to spend the grant was to hire a homelessness expert to develop a local homelessness plan, according to McKenna.

A group of city staff members will work alongside the consultant through the planning and development process, said McKenna, who will be serving as the group’s project manager.

Each of the cities was granted a certain amount between $30,000 and $70,000 based on the size of their homeless population. Santa Clarita’s grant totaled $50,000 based on their homeless population of 331 counted in January.

At a meeting at the end of November, all the cities who received a grant met in Downtown Los Angeles to learn more about how to make use of the funding.

“You kind of felt the excitement and the energy for cities who were feeling before they would have to wait and see,” McKenna said. “It was very exciting to have the resources available.”  

All cities have to spend their funds by March 2018 and must have their plans turned into the county by the end of June 2018.

McKenna anticipates Santa Clarita will have their plans ready far in advance of the deadline, he said.

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