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Shelter officials perform outreach

Bridge to Home officials accompany city, sheriff’s officials when they respond to encampment reports

Posted: October 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.

With the opening of the Santa Clarita Valley homeless shelter still a month away, officials with Bridge to Home have been seizing opportunities to conduct outreach with the very people they may be serving once the winter months roll around.

Representatives from Bridge to Home, the organization that oversees operation of the Santa Clarita Valley shelter on Drayton Street in Saugus, have been accompanying officials from the city of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station when the organizations respond to reports of homeless encampments in the wash or elsewhere, according to Tim Davis, the executive director of Bridge to Home.

Tom Cole, the city’s director of community development, said the city only conducts such exercises in response to reports from the community.

“These reports come from the public, and we respond to those reports,” he said. “We then cooperate to help facilitate the situation.”

Davis said Friday that Bridge to Home’s involvement allows the organization to conduct effective outreach to the people who might need its services.

“When we find a couple of people living down there in the wash or elsewhere, we can pass information on, such as when we would be opening and what our services would be,” Davis said.

Those services include a shelter that operates during the winter months, family assistance and a dental clinic, according to Davis.

Davis praised Santa Clarita officials for allowing Bridge to Home to be involved in this way, calling it a “very kind and astute” move on the city’s part.

Having Bridge to Home involved in the effort makes sense, Cole said, as it allows those who need such services to learn more about them.

“Bridge to Home really helps out in that endeavor,” he said.

Davis said the shelter will open for this season on Nov. 25, an earlier-than-usual start date allowed by the terms of the new lease negotiated with the city to stay at the shelter’s current location.

But the search for a more permanent facility is still ongoing, Davis said, and Bridge to Home hopes to have a list of possible properties ready soon, Davis said.
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