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Santa Clarita Valley homeless shelter sees slight decrease in use

Posted: April 25, 2013 2:23 p.m.
Updated: April 25, 2013 2:23 p.m.

During the past winter, use of the Santa Clarita Valley homeless shelter tapered off slightly compared to the previous year, though the shelter was still full to capacity on the average night, an official said Thursday.

On an average day during the shelter’s season — which began Dec. 1 and ended March 31 — about 51 individuals spent the night at the shelter, according to numbers released Thursday from the Bridge to Home organization that manages the shelter.

The Santa Clarita Valley shelter has a standard capacity of 54, said Tammy McGivern, a board member with Bridge to Home.

A total of 187 adults, about 80 percent of them male, stayed at the shelter for at least one night during its four-month run. Ten families, comprised of 17 adults and 20 children, also received services at the shelter.

The shelter provided services to 254 individuals and 19 families last year, according to Tim Davis, executive director of the shelter.

McGivern said she was not sure why the number of people served fell off slightly this year.

“Many nights we were over capacity,” she said Thursday. “It was a busy season.”

Many clients this year were young people, McGivern said; 25 of the 187 adults who utilized the shelter were between the ages of 18 and 24.

“I know a couple of them were veterans who just kind of got lost after they got back from service,” she said.
The shelter provided services to 24 veterans this past season.

Eight individuals who went to the shelter were 62 years old or older, according to the data. McGivern said one of the shelter’s regular attendees is 81 years old.

“That’s hard to see,” McGivern said.

About 26 percent of shelter attendees self-reported chronic abuse of drugs or alcohol, and 15 individuals said they suffered from some sort of physical or mental disability.

In addition to providing food, temporary housing and other services, McGivern said. Bridge to Home exists to educate people that some of the stereotypes about homelessness are not true.

“I think we’re trying to dispel that as much as we can,” she said.

The shelter is located at 23031 Drayton St. in Saugus and is open during the winter months only.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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