The Bridge to Home board of directors has named Chris Najarro as executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley organization following the departure of former Executive Director Michael Foley.
Joining the Bridge to Home team as director of programs in 2017 following a six-year stint as executive director of Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, Najarro brings an experienced eye to the unique issues leading Santa Clarita Valley residents into homelessness. Combined with her 10 years as program coordinator for CalWORKS Support Services at the Child Care Resource Center in Chatsworth, she has a special understanding of the modern-day challenges that can lead a family into poverty and homelessness.
She holds a master of social work from the University of Southern California with a concentration in community organization business innovation and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University, Northridge, with a concentration in social welfare.
As director of programs, Najarro has managed and supervised the administration of Bridge to Home’s programs and services, which include contracts, budgets, staff and outcomes. She has maintained close working relationships with the city of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority and the local Service Planning Area (SPA 2). All of this during the time that Bridge to Home was transitioned from an emergency nighttime shelter during the winter months to a 24/7, year-round shelter.
“She not only has a practical understanding of expansion but the vision to ensure that expansion is meaningful,” the Bridge to Home board said in a prepared statement. “This trait will serve her well as she sees the agency grow into its new shelter with the opportunities for progress it will provide.”
The Bridge to Home board of directors, under the leadership of Chair Tracey Carpentier, is leading “Building the Bridge,” a community capital campaign to raise the necessary dollars to augment the financial funding provided by Supervisor Kathryn Barger of the 5th Los Angeles County Supervisorial District and the City Council of Santa Clarita.
Said Carpentier, “We are grateful to Mike Foley for starting us on our journey. Today, Chris Najarro is the perfect leader to guide us into the final stretch of the campaign, the building of the new site, and moving our people and programs into the wonderful facility. She is a consummate professional who is deeply concerned about the agency’s program outcomes within a framework of visionary community development on behalf of people experiencing homelessness.”
For more information about “Building the Bridge,” go to btohome.org.