Good Samaritan to reopen Bridgehouse in Lompoc

2012-03-04T00:15:00Z Good Samaritan to reopen Bridgehouse in LompocBy John Sakata/Staff writer jsakata@santamariatimes.com Santa Maria Times

After receiving the keys to the Bridgehouse homeless shelter Friday from the county, Good Samaritan Shelter plans to reopen the 56-bed shelter for emergency services by next Friday.

Good Samaritan Executive Director Sylvia Barnard said her staff will work quickly to resume services because the Marks House shelter, which serves homeless families, is currently at capacity and has a waiting list, and Lompoc’s emergency warming shelter is serving 20 to 25 homeless each night.

There are even 17 homeless residents who have traveled to Santa Maria to seek shelter at Good Samaritan’s emergency shelter, Barnard said.

Following Santa Barbara County’s decision Feb. 21 to reach an agreement with the Lompoc Housing Community Development Corp. to run Bridgehouse through June 30, important developments are creating a short-term solution to the homeless problem in Lompoc.

Good Samaritan on Thursday signed a contract with the county to act as a interim homeless shelter operator. Regional foundations have stepped up to bridge funding through the fiscal year for both the Marks House and Bridgehouse, she said.

The Santa Barbara Foundation, the Wood-Claeyssen’s Foundation, the Hutton Foundation, Orfalea Foundation, and other organizations have donated $39,000, Barnard said.

“Amazingly, they didn’t ask me to write one grant,” Barnard said. “They were willing to support us when we stepped in. The foundations have been an amazing support system for saving the shelters and addressing the crisis.”

County Community Service Director Herman Parker said that the county will provide up to $11,500 a month to Good Samaritan to run the shelter.

Good Samaritan is acting as an interim manager of homeless services; the county will accept applications for a permanent manager sometime in the future “Right now we are where we want to be,” Parker said. “We’ve got the facility in the hands of a competent nonprofit and they are trying to open the facility as soon as they can.”

In the coming week, the attention turns to fixing up the Bridgehouse so that it can resume operations. Barnard said she has hired four full-time staff to run the facility, three who will stay overnight.

Good Samaritan is “cleaning everything from top to bottom,” providing paint to the smaller of the two buildings, and bringing in supplies.

Barnard said that the building still needs towels, industrial size pots and pans, and paper plates. She also said she would like to coordinate with local churches to have meals provided to the homeless and find a way to get bus passes so the homeless don’t have to worry about walking along the highway into Lompoc, she said.

Anybody interested in providing donations can call 346-8185.

Barnard said that once the Bridgehouse is reopened it will serve as a emergency shelter and the Marks House will return to its use as a transitional home for those looking to get back on their feet. Currently, the Marks House is housing homeless families on an emergency basis.

In the past, the Marks House has only been open to women with children, but she said she would like to allow men with families to use the facility as well.

There are two to three families on the waiting list, Barnard said.

“I believe Good Samaritan was ready for the additional responsibilities,” Barnard said. “We’ve been building our administrative capacity the last couple years. We’ve stabilized our finances, we’re compliant on everything. ... I think we’re as stable as could be.”

Copyright 2015 Santa Maria Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on SantaMariaTimes.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Santa Maria Times (SantaMariaTimes.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in SantaMariaTimes.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Santa Maria Times or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on SantaMariaTimes.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Activate subscription button gif

Follow Us

Featured Businesses

View More...

Online e-Edition

Read your newspaper online, anytime, anywhere!

Read today's Santa Maria Times print edition at any time from any computer. Your local news and information at your convenience!

Read | Subscribe

/

Featured Ads