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Homeless shelter closes

Plans for a year-round, permanent location still in the works

Posted: March 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.

After staying open longer than scheduled for a cold and wet weekend, the Santa Clarita Valley’s only homeless shelter closed its doors Monday despite forecast nighttime temperatures near freezing.

About 37 people stayed at the shelter Friday through Sunday nights, said Tim Davis, executive director of the shelter. The shelter was due to close Friday morning.

The average number of clients throughout the winter was 51 a night, with sometimes as many as 64 people showing up — above the shelter’s capacity.

The numbers dropped during the final weekend likely because people anticipated the shelter’s closing and made other arrangements, Davis said. By March 1, the numbers usually dwindle in anticipation of the March 15 closing.

The number of clients served by the Bridge to Home shelter has risen from about 30 a night three or four years ago to more than 50 a night this year, despite the generally mild winter.

The storm that swept in during the weekend, which National Weather Service forecasters said was the first winter storm of the season, was due to drop temperatures to the low 30s Monday night.

Meetings are set to begin in May or June toward the goal of forming a permanent shelter in the Santa Clarita Valley, including plans for a location and funding, Davis said.

Because of the needs in the area, he thinks about 60 beds would be needed during the winter and about 20 beds during the summer.

Barring a permanent shelter established this year, the next temporary winter shelter will open in December, Davis said.


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