Santa Clarita officials, organizations to discuss combatting homelessness strategies

Bridge to Home File Art

On the heels of the county approving a $402 million spending plan on Tuesday to combat homelessness, Santa Clarita City Council members and community organizations will conduct a two-part planning meeting on Thursday and Friday to discuss strategies for the SCV.

The meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Old Town Newhall Library and go until 12:30 p.m. on both days.

Jerrid McKenna, assistant to the city manager, said the meetings are part of a broader plan to develop strategies and coordinate between services.

The city plans to discuss putting $50,000 in grant money to use, 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.

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.

“The discussion will be a collaborative look between all the service providers and stakeholders to discuss potential solutions,” McKenna said. “Part of this is the needs assessment component to see what we’re missing in the SCV, and nail down the top issues we need to look at.”

Around 20 SCV organizations are slated to attend, such as Bridge to Home, Real Life Church, the Child and Family Center and Family Promise.

The plan’s draft will come at the end of June and be finalized in July, McKenna said.

Bridge To Home, Santa Clarita’s homeless shelter, closed for the season March 31. The shelter still provides lunches during the day, and is open for people to come for rapid rehousing resources and connections with partner agencies, Chris Najarro, BTH director of programs, told the Signal in April.

The shelter is also open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the program, “Feeding It Forward,” which is housed by the shelter on Newhall Avenue from Tuesday through Friday, and by Real Life Church’s Savia partnership on Mondays.

The program will run from May until October, when the shelter will close again, temporarily, so it can prepare to re-open officially for the winter season in November.

Plans to open a year-round shelter are still in the works, said Bridge to Home executive director Silvia Gutierrez.

“We’re excited to develop a plan that meets the needs of the city, the organization and adds the most value to people experiencing homelessness,” Gutierrez said.

The LA County Board of Supervisors approved a $402 million spending plan Tuesday to widen and intensify its fight against homelessness. The five-member board unanimously adopted dozens of recommendations for the second-year budget of Measure H, the voter-approved quarter-cent sales tax dedicated exclusively to providing services and programs to combat the homelessness crisis.

The budget includes $120 million for shelter and interim housing, $73 million for rapid re-housing, $49 million for permanent supportive housing and $30 million for outreach.

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