But beginning on Wednesday, with the opening of the armory until March, the area’s chronically homeless will have one option: shelter.
Burbank should be proud that officials and organizers came through to open the winter shelter.
On any given day, nearly 70,000 people are living without a home in Los Angeles County, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Burbank has not only come through to help Glendale, it has come through to provide a shelter that will help the region.
Staff members at the armory on Wednesday said they expected many more people to come. But they should know that their work paid off, even if for one night, for the six who showed up.
And in time, the numbers will grow.
News does not spread as quickly in the homeless community as some other groups.
They do not have a clear network through which to get information. But as word gets out, the numbers will grow.
So too, we hope, will the discussion sparked by this issue.
Homelessness is not pretty or easy to talk about.
This is a population that does not help politicians get elected. What voice do they have?
Perhaps they have only the voices of those who are more fortunate, and who have compassion, whether they are city officials or homeless advocates.
Compassion won out in this round. Let’s hope the momentum continues, and that how to serve the area’s most needy remains in the public consciousness.
Now is as good a time as any for the area’s religious leaders, nonprofits, soup kitchens and city officials and the homeless themselves to come together and talk about how Glendale and Burbank can better serve this vulnerable population.
And there are signs that this is already happening, as Mayor Marsha Ramos has invited faith-based organizations and service providers to a meeting to talk about ways to better meet the needs of the Burbank winter shelter.
We hope that kind of discussion continues.
Nobody wants to imagine sleeping outside in Glendale or Burbank over the last week or two, as temperatures dipped into the 30s and 40s. Knowing there is no shelter, no food and very few options, if any, for survival, is not the way people should live.
Everyone knows that. But now is as good a time as any to be reminded.