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Officials Delay Winter Homeless Shelter Opening

 

Now that the Santa Clarita Homeless Shelter found a home on county-owned property off Centre Pointe Parkway in Canyon Country, the opening date has been set for Dec. 20. The shelter originally was due to open Dec. 16, but complications involving the two modular buildings that will house the valley’s homeless for the winter season bumped the date back four days.

    “The building modifications took a little bit longer than we thought they would,” said Barbara Preheim, the shelter’s director of operations.

    “When you think about (Hurricane) Katrina, and the call for all the modular buildings from across the country to go to that area, we were lucky to get one,” Preheim said. “We’re hoping they are going to arrive on the 16th or the 17th (of December).”

    Along with Santa Clarita’s homeless shelter, shelters in South Los Angeles and Long Beach have seen delayed openings as well. Simi Valley’s nonprofit Samaritan Center opened Nov. 1, with a network of churches taking turns each day to house about two dozen homeless people.

    Preheim said it is not unusual for a delay in delivery of modular buildings, and said it is one of the most important elements in the shelter’s opening.

    “The driver is the building, that’s always the bottom line,” Preheim said.

    Once the modular buildings have been modified for residential standards and they are delivered to the flood-control maintenance yard in Canyon Country, they will still have to be installed and wired for electricity and set up with ramps to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Preheim said.

    Supplies for the shelter have been coming along, Preheim said, but water is the most-needed resource.

    “We go through an awful lot of water during the winter, and it has to be bottled water,” Preheim said. “We could always use cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, face soap, combs, things like that.”

For the whole story, visit The Signal's website.