Last year (winter 2009/2010) over 85% of the people who came to The Winter Shelter were from locations other than Burbank, Pasadena or Glendale.
This led to the problems you would expect any time a large population is brought to a neighborhood that is not their own. Due to the amount of time and bus fare it would take to travel back to their base neighborhoods, many residents of the shelter hung around the Glendale Downtown area which led to reports of loitering. And when it isn’t your neighborhood, you may be less concerned about the littering. This was an unpleasant reality for many residents and shopkeepers in the area.
The Glendale City Council has been critical that Eimago did not strong-arm, I mean encourage, residents into case management. This leads me to the question of where the case management meetings were supposed to take place, who would provide them, and how would that be funded? Oh, more importantly – what goals does the City have for Homeless Residents who use the shelter? Obviously the City of Glendale wants them to no longer be homeless, but will they be willing to take on the work it takes to end individual homelessness.
- stable shelter
- a place to store belongings
- access to a shower and clean clothes
- open employment positions
- affordable housing for minimum wage earners
I applaud the city for it’s idealism and it’s efforts. I want to see the city pull in enough supporters from charitable and civic organisations as well as private citizens to run a “Closed to the Public” Winter Shelter.
I strongly encourage them to use their best local assets – The Union Rescue Mission, Eimago, and their very own branch of PATH. Also, look into pulling in the support nd donation of one room each from every motel/hotel/ lodge in the cities of Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank for when the families show up at the door.