Los Angeles County has awarded Santa Clarita more than $126,000 in grant funds to support organizations with innovative solutions to address the local homeless population.
With grant funds available of $126,493, the city is now accepting applications from interested local organizations for Innovation Fund grants, according to a city news release Thursday.
“The Innovation Fund is to be used by local agencies to develop innovative solutions that will assist in implementing the goals outlined within the Santa Clarita Community Plan to Address Homelessness,” read the release.
Overall goals, which the Santa Clarita homeless task force has been working on accomplishing, include topic areas of preventing homelessness, subsidized housing, and increasing income and affordable/homeless housing.
“After consulting with benchmark cities and conducting extensive research on the specific needs within our community, (city) staff has concluded that partnering with local service providers is the optimal and most equitable solution to utilizing this grant,” Jerrid McKenna, assistant to the city manager, said Thursday via email to members of the task force.
Selected organizations would receive grants of no more than $25,000 each to allow for multiple agencies to access funding, according to city officials. Proposals would be evaluated on a number of criteria, such as whether the proposal leverages community partnerships, seeks to clearly implement goals outlined within the Community Plan to Address Homelessness and calls for innovative programming that is easily replicated and can serve as a model for other communities.
Some local homeless experts have already eyed funding for their proposals, including the task force’s Affordable Housing Committee, which is exploring ways to create a local overnight parking program, according to Peggy Edwards, the committee’s chairwoman and board president of Bridge to Home.
“It is very much in the research stages. The biggest thing is finding some sites, finding people that are willing to let us use their parking lots and that they have access to restrooms overnight,” she said in a previous interview. “Our goal is to open two in a place where we could have access to showers and bathrooms overnight.”
The Innovation Fund follows $300,000 in Measure H dollars the city received last year, which covered the cost of a temporary homeless coordinator and a property acquisition for interim family housing.
Those interested in applying have until Thursday, Dec. 31, and can apply via santa-clarita.com/homeless. For more information on the grant program and to read the full Community Plan to Address Homelessness, visit the website or contact Lane Farrell at 661-255-4331 or at LFarrell@santa-clarita.com.