Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Friday the county will provide the gap funding that will allow Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit homeless services provider Bridge to Home to stay open between April 1-June 30.
Barger will also introduce a motion at the supervisors’ next meeting on Tuesday asking for greater transparency and less red tape in the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s funding application and grant process.
LAHSA is a Joint Powers Authority between the county and city of Los Angeles established in 1993. The group oversees more than $300 million annually in federal, state, county and city funds for homeless services, according to LAHSA’s website.
Bridge to Home had applied to LAHSA for Crisis and Bridge Housing funds amounting to just under $1 million, which would have facilitated BTH’s plan to begin year-around homeless services after March 31.
BTH received word on Dec. 11 that LAHSA had canceled BTH’s application for Bridge and Housing funds because those funds had been allocated elsewhere and were no longer available.
Bridge to Home Executive Director Mike Foley told SCV News last week the organization was now working on raising about $150,000 needed to fund the rest of the emergency winter shelter period, and had just applied to LAHSA for more new funding for year-around operation.
However, any new funding won’t be available until July 1, so Foley said BTH now also needed to raise another $200,000 to cover operations during the March 31-June 30 period.
After Foley announced last week that the LAHSA funding had fallen through, Santa Clarita city officials and Barger quickly began seeking solutions.
On Thursday, Mayor Pro-Tem Cameron Smyth said he would add a request for Bridge to Home gap funding to the agenda for the City Council’s next meeting on Jan. 8.
The SCV emergency winter shelter is located at 23031 Drayton Street, Saugus 91350, and opens for client check-in at 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Here’s more from Friday’s news release from Barger’s office:
“A motion by Fifth District Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger directs the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to submit comprehensive quarterly financial reports to the Board of Supervisors that detail expenditures to date and provide funding availability, including the amount of funds available in each strategy funded by Measure H.
“The motion also calls for increased transparency by requiring advance notice of any significant developments and fiscal shifts impacting service contracts, such as the potential cancellation of a Request for Proposals.
“The motion is prompted by LAHSA’s recent closure of a September RFP process for interim housing funding, which left six service providers across the county without funding, including Bridge to Home. The service providers were not notified of this closure until December and no notification was provided to the Board of Supervisors.
“‘My motion intends to ensure that LAHSA operates with greater accountability and transparency moving forward,’ Barger said.
“‘In the interim, I am pleased to immediately provide the full gap funding necessary to ensure that Bridge to Home can deliver year-round shelter and supportive services for our Santa Clarita Valley community.
“’I want to thank the city of Santa Clarita and Bridge to Home for their continued partnership in our collective efforts to combat homelessness,’” Barger said.
“‘We appreciate Supervisor Barger’s effort to close this gap and look forward to meeting our goal of providing full-service programs to individuals experiencing homelessness all year round,” Foley said.
“The motion will be heard at the Board’s next meeting on Jan. 8.”