A chain link fence encloses the Bridge to Home Shelter on Drayton Street on Monday, April 2, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Barger’s office responds to Bridge to Home’s grant cancellation, LAHSA says due to insufficient funds

Bridge to Home’s recent grant process cancellation announcement has left many members of the community and local dignitaries feeling disappointed. But officials with Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office said they will work on a solution to fill the funding gap.

“Working with our partner agencies and other stakeholders, I am confident we can find a solution to fill the gap that they have in the spring,” Barger spokesman Tony Bell said Friday.
  
The Newhall-based nonprofit organization applied for a grant from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority for more than $900,000 but recently learned that its grant process had been canceled, leaving a gap in funding.

With other homeless housing projects competing for funding in the Los Angeles County area, Bridge to Home’s proposed year-round shelter is among others that cannot be funded due to insufficient Measure H dollars, according to Tom Waldman, director of communications with LAHSA.

“After the RFP went out, the Board of Supervisors chose to redirect $3.9 million of the $4.4 million from crisis and bridge housing to one specific crisis housing project and one specific bridge housing project,” he said Friday. “The remaining $500,000 was not sufficient to fund other crisis or bridge housing projects.”

He was unable to provide information about which projects those were. Officials with Los Angeles County were unavailable to provide further information Friday due to holiday schedules. .

Dana Vanderford, homeless services deputy for Barger, previously stated that resources are distributed to locations with higher concentrations of homeless people.

Although Santa Clarita is working on a more accurate homeless count, the 2017 annual point-in-time count reported a total of 331 homeless individuals, while an estimated 31,138 were identified in the city of L.A.

The $4.4 million, Waldman said, come from Measure H dollars, the countywide quarter-cent sales tax. The initiative is expected to generate approximately $355 million a year for services and programs to prevent and combat homelessness in the county.

With no grant funds in place, the shelter is unable to operate year-round and is forced to remain as an emergency shelter, which means they can offer services four months out of the year.

Mike Foley, executive director of Bridge to Home, said the organization is planning on applying for another grant. If chosen, funds would not become available until July, he said.

Bridge to Home announced earlier this week they are accepting donations to help meet those needs. To donate, visit btohome.org.

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