City Council to consider awarding contracts, grants toward addressing homelessness

Santa Clarita City Hall is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. File photo

The Santa Clarita City Council will once again revisit the topic of homelessness on Tuesday, when they will consider awarding contracts and grant funding aimed at addressing homelessness in the Santa Clarita Valley.

On Tuesday, council members will discuss two new business matters: a contract with Los Angeles County to receive a grant to hire a homeless coordinator and a one-time grant for the nonprofit Bridge to Home to hire a project manager and increase their service capacity.

Homeless coordinator

To hire a coordinator, listed as part-time in the city staff report, council members will consider an 18-month contract with the county in the amount of $75,000 in funding from Measure H, the quarter-cent sales tax county voters approved for homeless services.

The grant award will require a one-third match contribution from the city for $37,500, totaling $112,500 in combined funding over the 18-month grant period, according to the staff report.

In October 2017, the county awarded the city with grant funds to create its local plan to address homelessness as part of the countywide regional Homeless Initiative. Santa Clarita developed its Community Plan to Address Homelessness, where a 30-member task force has been meeting monthly since October of last year to “to develop operating guidelines and (establish) an executive board to oversee each topic area identified in the plan,” the report said.

In the fall of 2018, L.A. County released requests for proposals for Measure H grants in an effort to assist cities with its new action plans. Santa Clarita submitted two proposals totaling $375,000, and the full amount was granted in January. The $300,000 would go toward property acquisition for interim family housing and the remaining for the homeless coordinator.

“This task is currently being completed by city staff; however, there is a need for more daily oversight in order to successfully implement all action items in the plan,” said the report.

Bridge to Home

Council members will also look into awarding a one-time grant to Bridge to Home, the area’s only emergency homeless shelter, in the amount of $50,000 for a project manager that will lead the planning and design for a permanent, year-round facility and $100,000 to increase its capacity of local services.

Bridge to Home has received nearly $2 million from the county and Measure H funds for its future 365-day shelter located on Drayton Street in Newhall. The council approved the transition of city-owned property to the agency in 2017.

To give Bridge to Home a jump-start, the proposed one-time $150,000 grant is said to fill the financial gaps. Michael Foley, executive director of the organization, said Friday, “The investment will allow us to hire a project manager that will help us through the entire process and construction of what will be a permanent shelter. The other amount is an investment in making sure Bridge to Home has funds to secure other new grants.”  

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