By City Manager Ken Striplin
The coronavirus pandemic has presented new challenges for the City of Santa Clarita and its residents — from community members adjusting their daily work and school routines, to the City finding a balance that allows us to provide essential services while maintaining public health. For this period of time, we have all changed the way we do things to benefit the common good.
One thing that has not wavered, however, is the kindness that our residents show to one another on a daily basis. Individuals and businesses alike have come together to support essential workers, emergency responders and families in their own neighborhood to ensure everyone’s needs have been met.
I want to thank all of the businesses that have had to adapt to this ever-changing atmosphere. Not only have restaurants and retailers used their creativity to be able to provide goods and services for their patrons, but they have also stepped up to donate food and much-needed supplies to essential workers.
Every day, I see social media posts and news stories about Santa Clarita businesses dropping off dinner to feed deputies and staff at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station or making cloth masks and face coverings for our local firefighters. I have seen residents donate blood, and dentists, optometrists and other healthcare specialists bring personal protective equipment to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. This spirit of giving shows appreciation for essential workers and leaves one less worry on their plate.
The City of Santa Clarita is also working hard to ensure that residents and frontline workers have the supplies and support they need. Bridge To Home has temporarily relocated its operation to the Newhall Community Center, which allows the organization to provide resources and a temporary shelter while allowing clients to maintain the necessary social distancing.
In mid-April, the Santa Clarita City Council brought a donation of medical masks, as well as lunch, to the doctors, nurses and staff at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Additionally, the City coordinated with Illumination Dynamics to provide the hospital with a much-needed generator. The City is also working to provide the hospital with barricades, pallets of water and other PPE essentials.
Ensuring that essential workers can get where they need to go is also important, which is why I want to thank the staff and bus drivers with Santa Clarita Transit. To keep them safe, the City has provided masks for bus drivers and has implemented operational changes that include having riders board through the rear door and cordoning off rows to maximizing the distance between passengers. Hospital-grade disinfectant is also used to clean the entire fleet of vehicles at the end of each day.
Finally, I want to thank the unsung heroes who have shown kindness to their neighbors — or even strangers — during this pandemic. Thank you to mail carriers, delivery drivers, volunteers and all those who are making sure our most vulnerable residents get the supplies, food and medication they need.
I encourage you to show support for our heroes in Santa Clarita by taking part in the City’s “Hearts for Heroes” initiative. Visit santa-clarita.com/HeartsForHeroes to print out a paper heart that you can decorate and display at home. Be sure to share it with us by posting a photo on social media using #HeartsForHeroes!
Ken Striplin can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.