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Making ends meet

July 11, 2001

Lolita Harper

MEDIA DISTRICT WEST -- It is hidden well under the nicely manicured

lawns and tree-lined streets of Burbank, but thousands of city residents

still need extra support to make ends meet.

Summertime has proved to be exceptionally busy with the rise in

utilities, Burbank Temporary Aid Center Director Pat Smola said.

It is surprising how many residents are living paycheck to paycheck,

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she said. When electricity rates started to skyrocket, people were faced

with either feeding their family or paying their bills, Smola said.

But the aid center, financed by a small city grant and the big hearts

of generous residents, has been able to provide for its own.

"We aren't here to judge. We're here to help. How many of us are just

a paycheck away from being here? When you start judging, you lose control

of the situation," Smola said.

The Burbank Temporary Aid Center assists more than 2,500 people per

month with things like free lunches, clothes, groceries, financial

assistance, job searching and apartment hunting, Smola said.

"A lot of people don't know exactly what we do," she said. "We do it

all."

INFO BOX

For more information about the Burbank Temporary Aid Center or to

donate food, clothes, money or time, call 846-2300 or stop by 1304 W.

Burbank Blvd.

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