With over 161,000 people held victims of homelessness in California, Santa Clarita sheriffs and the local homeless shelter, Bridge to Home, provide homeless services with hopes to bring the numbers down with an effective strategy.
Deputy Louis Valle is the coordinator of the homeless outreach program and talks about the LAPD’s role in attending to those living in encampments.
“The biggest thing is to locate the encampments in Santa Clarita,” Valle said. “After that, we identify who the people living in encampments are, and then we identify what they need, and then we try to find a solution for them.”
After police officers have found people that accept their help, they are taken to the nearest available shelter to be provided with a roof, a bed, and food. However, some shelters, including SCV local Bridge to Home, provide case management services that help people learn how to retain housing.
The Director of programs at Bridge to Home, Immari Peterson, speaks on the importance of their programs and how it’s a critical and sustainable piece to the homeless crisis solutions.
“Having that sort of wrap-around support only makes it better for somebody in the long run because they’re learning the skills that they need to be able to keep their stable housing rather than just returning to homelessness,” Peterson said.
“Other programs that are running during the day, from support groups to other activities that happen so that clients feel that they don’t have to just sit around all day,” Peterson continued.
Many of the activities that can be found around the shelter range from art projects, to their learning center, and support group sessions. Clients are also encouraged to take classes at COC.