[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
62°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 24
1974 - Pyramid Lake opens to the public [story]


Gabriela Martinez

Gabriela Martinez joins the city of Santa Clarita as its new homeless coordinator. Courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.

After receiving $375,000 for homeless programs earlier this year, the city of Santa Clarita welcomed its new Measure H-funded homeless coordinator Gabriela Martinez.

The local resident was selected from a pool of 80 applicants for her wealth of experience in social services and knowledge on the Los Angeles County homeless service system, according to Jerrid McKenna, assistant to the city manager, who’s overseen the issue over the last several years.

“Gabriella stood out among 20 people from the 80 applicants that we got,” he said. “She’s the boots on the ground. I’ve picked this up for the last four or six years, but I don’t have (a degree in social work) or social work experience. Having that asset in the city with the knowledge she has will be essential.”

Martinez brings to the city more than 14 years of social service experience, working with a variety of populations ranging from refugees, members of the LGBTQ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer) to victims of domestic violence and with nonprofit service providers.

“Working with different populations, I wanted to know what the root cause of their issues were,” she said. “In all the different populations, homelessness kept popping up. I saw it in domestic violence cases when a partner would leave the relationship and had nowhere to go, or seniors priced out of housing.”

The position is being funded through an 18-month, $75,000 grant, part of the $375,000 Santa Clarita received from the nearly $3.8 million in Measure H funding for homeless programs. The $300,000 was designated for property acquisition for interim housing.

Martinez, who started July 12, will administer the 30-plus member community task force that addresses the local homeless issue and the city’s homeless plan, with an ultimate goal to decrease the homeless population, and increase resources and options for the area’s most vulnerable population.

While she has already started responding to emails from the community, Martinez will soon look into the long-discussed local homeless count that is released annually by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which the task force and other community leaders have expressed is inaccurate. The 2019 count increased to 256 individuals from the 156 counted last year, but experts estimate that figure is lower than that of the count in at least one SCV school district alone.

“The point-in-time issue has come up, and even in L.A. County, it’s not accurate,” said Martinez. “I still have to meet with them (task force) and gather information about what they’re really seeing that’s not reflective in the homeless count. I’m working on putting together a meeting where we all talk about initiatives and see where I can support them.”

Martinez plans on tackling the matter, in part, with a heavy focus on data collection.

Perhaps the most challenging part of her role will be the coordination of services, according to McKenna.

“Identifying what each of us (the task force) is doing and what services are provided, going through what’s missing, what do we do and stop doing — that’s Gabriela’s task to have those conversations.”

The task force is Santa Clarita’s first attempt at addressing homelessness in an official manner with established bylaws and structures “to create a conversation and learn how we can streamline and communicate with each other and create a continuum of care,” said McKenna.

Martinez said these challenges encouraged her to apply for the position.

“Homelessness is something I’m very passionate about. I went on the website and read the initiative and saw how comprehensive it was and how the city is in front of the issue. Homelessness is a big issue and it took initiative to put the task force together and address this holistically. I couldn’t not get on board.”

The task force will officially meet Martinez at its next monthly meeting Aug. 21.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


LATEST CITY HEADLINES
Friday, Aug 23, 2019
Santa Clarita has seen significant trends in its housing market and population demands over the last 20 years, and with a continued need for expansion across California cities, the time has come to update its housing production goals in order to comply with state requirements.
Thursday, Aug 22, 2019
Santa Clarita residents are invited to bring their unwanted household hazardous and electronic waste to the free Household Hazardous/E-Waste Roundup on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Thursday, Aug 22, 2019
The city of Santa Clarita is seeking community feedback on a public safety grant proposal for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.
Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019
Santa Clarita is one of the safest cities in the nation to raise children, according to a recent report published by SafeWise.
Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019
The next Canyon Country Advisory Committee (CCAC) meeting will be held Wednesday, Aug. 21, from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., at the Mint Canyon Moose Lodge.

Keep Up With Our Facebook
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1974 - Pyramid Lake opens to the public [story]
Extending double-tracking and upgrading the Santa Clarita train station platform in Saugus are among the proposed infrastructure improvements to the Metrolink Antelope Valley Line approved by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on July 25.
Metrolink Upgrades to Include More Double-Tracking in Saugus
Corporate defendants Santa Clara Waste Water Company and Green Compass Environmental Solutions, LLC were sentenced to three years' formal probation and ordered to pay restitution to victims of a November 2014 hazardous waste explosion in Santa Paula.
Waste Companies Sentenced in Santa Paula Explosion
The JetHawks were unable to complete a sweep of the Inland Empire 66ers after they fell in the series finale, 3-2, on Thursday night at San Manuel Stadium.
Sixers Come Back to Spoil JetHawks Sweep
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has confirmed seven additional samples of mosquitos testing positive for West Nile virus, or WNV.
County Finds More West Nile Virus-Positive Mosquitos
A 36-year-old Santa Clarita mother of five children survived a heroin overdose Thursday, revived by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies armed with Narcan.
Santa Clarita Mother of 5 Survives Heroin Overdose
A year after jurors failed to reach a verdict in the case of a former Disney executive charged with engaging in lewd acts with a child, a brand new jury is scheduled to hear closing arguments in the man’s retrial on the same charges.
Closing Arguments Due Monday in Child Sex Case Retrial
Santa Clarita has seen significant trends in its housing market and population demands over the last 20 years, and with a continued need for expansion across California cities, the time has come to update its housing production goals in order to comply with state requirements.
Santa Clarita Aims at State Housing Goals
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station handed out 74 citations in a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation Thursday morning.
SCV Deputies Cite 74 in Bike, Pedestrian Operation
1963 - First stretch of Antelope Valley 14 Freeway opens from east of Solemint Junction in Canyon Country to Red Rover Mine Road in Acton. [story]
AV Freeway
The JetHawks got on the board with four runs in the first inning and went on to beat the Inland Empire 66ers, 10-5, on Wednesday night at San Manuel Stadium.
JetHawks Cruise to 4th Straight Win
SACRAMENTO – The California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated more than $1.1 billion for a total of 133 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects throughout California, including almost $994 million for 47 fix-it-first projects funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
SB 1 Funding Allocates Nearly $315M to LA County Highway Projects
S.T.R.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Manufacturing) Kids Expo, a local nonprofit that wants to prepare kids today to face the challenges of tomorrow, will host a Kids Conquer Challenge, Saturday, Aug. 24, from 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., at the former Sears parking lot.
Aug. 24: Kids Conquer Challenge
This week, LBW Insurance and Financial Services was deemed one of the Best Places to Work in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Valencia-Based Insurance Agency Named Among Best Places to Work in LA
The Michael Hoefflin Foundation is currently accepting auction item donations for its 26th Evening Under the Stars Gala Dinner & Charity Auction on Sept. 21.
Michael Hoefflin Foundation Accepting Donations for Annual Gala
California Credit Union is inviting all Los Angeles area teachers who have a great class project idea to apply for a credit union grant through its bi-annual Teacher Grant Program.
LA County Teachers Encouraged to Apply for Credit Union Class Project Grant
Santa Clarita residents are invited to bring their unwanted household hazardous and electronic waste to the free Household Hazardous/E-Waste Roundup on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Aug. 24: Free Household Hazardous/E-Waste Roundup
A total of 263 single-family homes changed owners during July, an increase of 22.3 percent from a year ago and the highest monthly total since June 2018, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.
SCV Home Prices Up 5% on Year; Low Interest Rates Spike Sales
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is expanding the services it offers at its community Health Fairs.
Aug. 23: Henry Mayo Brings Health Fair to Newhall Community Center
The Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) is pleased to announce the successful addition of three new pieces of basic life support (BLS) equipment to its inventory:
LACoFD Adds New Basic Life Support Equipment to Inventory
The city of Santa Clarita is seeking community feedback on a public safety grant proposal for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.
City Seeking Community Feedback on Public Safety Grant Proposal
During the Wednesday night board meeting, Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhlman was named the superintendent-elect after it was made known that Vicki Engbrecht was stepping down from the position at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
Hart District Names Mike Kuhlman Superintendent-Elect
One person was transported to a nearby hospital after a vehicle rammed a parked car into a home’s garage Thursday afternoon.
Driver Crashes Parked Vehicle into Home’s Garage
For more than 200 chronically ill patients in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, doctors make house calls.
Study: Facey’s Palliative Care Program Helps Improve Patients’ Quality of Life
%d bloggers like this: