The Santa Clarita City Council took a step forward Tuesday on the topic of homelessness after awarding contracts and grants totaling more than $260,000 to address the local issue.
Council members unanimously approved a contract with Los Angeles County that will allow the city to hire a homeless coordinator, as well as a one-time grant toward helping Bridge to Home hire a project manager and increase services as they shift to year-round operations.
The grant award for the homeless coordinator totals $112,500, and the city will have to match $37,500 to receive $75,000 in the quarter-cent sales tax Measure H funding. The designated person will help implement the city’s Community Plan to Address Homelessness, according to Jerrid McKenna, assistant to the city manager.
Bridge to Home locked in a total of $150,000 from the city’s general fund to hire a project manager tasked with the planning and design of the nonprofit’s permanent, 365-day homeless shelter ($50,000) and to bulk up its local homeless services ($100,000).
“L.A. Family Housing is the coordinated entry system lead where a lot of the Measure H funding goes to and then comes to our service providers,” McKenna said during a presentation to the City Council. “They already, in January or February, ran out of their allotment for the current fiscal year. So, Bridge to Home was not able to access any additional funding. This request will really fill that void.”
In looking back at some of the actions Santa Clarita has recently taken to address homelessness, including the establishment of a 30-member task force, Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth said, “The further Santa Clarita stays ahead, the more opportunity we have to bring back those Measure H dollars to (the city).”
“It’s a reinforcement of how this city really is an example for others in the region on how to manage and how to come together to help those in our community to do it as a whole and not just the city, not just the county, not just nonprofits, but doing it together,” he added.