The Santa Clarita Clarita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the lease with Bridge to Home for its emergency winter shelter.
“It was a (4-0) vote to allow the homeless shelter to allow the shelter to be at the Drayton Street location for the next three years,” said Councilman TimBen Boydston.
There was also a concern, which was brought up by Councilwoman Marsha McLean, and seconded by Boydston, that the shelter’s lease left it subject to cancellation without City Council approval.
A city staff report cited that the lease contained a clause that set three-year benchmarks for the shelter to find a new location.
“If they didn’t make those benchmarks then the agreement was also subject to cancellation,” Boydston said. “I didn’t want either one of those things to cancel the lease.”
Another reason for the cancellation clause was the possibility that the city could use the location for a materials recycling facility if it was deemed necessary, which might have moved the facility toward a lot owned by the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic.
Boydston felt a Castaic location wouldn’t have been central enough to serve the city’s needs for the area.
“The government does not owe anyone any specific standard of living, but I do think the government owes people who find themselves in a situation, where they need that social safety net, that very basic, food, shelter — I do think we owe that to people in our corner of the world,” he said.
Boydston also requested adding another $1 million to the city’s liability policy, which upped the city’s protection to $2 million. Boydston said the move was worthwhile since it would be an important protection in case anyone sued the city, because it owned the Drayton Street property.
While the shelter was granted a stay, council members also sent the message that the Drayton Street location was not intended to be a permanent home.
“This protects the shelter so that they can find a permanent shelter,” Boydston said, “and we also protected the citizens by adding to the liability insurance.”
Councilman Frank Ferry was not at Tuesday’s meeting.