Council approves crime prevention team funding, homeless shelter land acquisition

City of Santa Clarita City Hall

Santa Clarita City Council renewed funding for youth crime prevention and allowed for a homeless shelter to acquire land adjacent to its existing shelter at its meeting Tuesday.

The council accepted a $331,000 Citizen’s Option for Public Safety grant to continue funding for the Career Offenders, Burglary, Robbery and Assault, or COBRA Team. The unit works to decrease gang activity, graffiti and other youth crimes as well as provide gang and drug education for junior high students, Teen Court intervention and court diversion programs, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said.

The COBRA Team investigated numerous incidents in the Santa Clarita Valley last year, including vandalism defacing homes in Valencia Summit, a probation sweep and the arrest of a 17-year-old Canyon Country boy on suspicion of attempted murder after the boy allegedly stabbed and beat a man with a baseball bat.

The City Council also gave the greenlight for the nearly $604,000 acquisition of an acre next to the Bridge to Home shelter on Drayton Street.

The vote allows the shelter to take the next step toward being a year-round shelter and compete for Measure H funding. Voters countywide approved Measure H last March, generating $355 million annually for homeless shelters and programs.

The homeless shelter initially opened for winters on Golden Valley Road during the 2007-08 winter, but moved to its current location on Drayton Street three winters later. Bridge to Home operated the shelter beginning in 2011. A temporary use permit has allowed the shelter to operate from November to March each year.

In November, Bridge to Home officials said the shelter was at least a year away from being open year-round. One of the construction projects involved the installation of a sewer system for running water and on-site bathrooms.

Shelter officials also seek to build a permanent facility for case management and therapy, though that project will depend on how quickly Bridge to Home can raise funds or acquire Measure H money.

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