County to host community input session on Measure H funding

Instead of closing March 31, Bridge to Home officials are using gap funding provided by Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger to offer services through July 31. Helping resident attendant Jayne Patafio set up the sleeping quarters in 2016 are Haley, left, and Riley Cabot, center. Signal file photo

After Los Angeles County’s approval in September to fast-track funds for combating homelessness, Santa Clarita will have a chance to chime in on how the county should be using local Measure H tax dollars to address the issue. 

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the county’s Homeless Initiative have scheduled eight community input sessions across the county to collect input. The meeting that addresses Santa Clarita and surrounding cities is set for Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Zev Yaroslavsky Family Support Center, located at 7555 Van Nuys Blvd.

Attendees can express what is currently working, what gaps exist and how to best use funding from Measure H, the one-quarter-cent sales tax that generates funds for homeless services.

The public meetings come after a Sept. 10 approved motion by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to allocate $6 million in available Measure H carryover funds from the 2018-19 fiscal year to give cities what they need to implement plans that address and prevent homelessness. 

Funds will be distributed by local Councils of Government, which are associations that represent local governments, to ensure jurisdictions have more flexibility when applying a homelessness plan. 

Santa Clarita, which falls under the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments along with other cities such as San Fernando, Burbank and Glendale, could receive a share from nearly $288,000, according to the county’s proposed funding allocation based on the 2019 homeless count. 

“Solutions to combating homelessness require the county to work closely with cities that know the challenges they face, and the support they need,” said Los Angeles County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who authored the motion and represents the Santa Clarita Valley. 

“Homelessness does not look the same in the Antelope Valley as it does in the San Gabriel Valley and, as a result, the county should empower cities to create innovative solutions to tackle homelessness at the local level,” she said.

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