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Council gives money to keep shelter open

Union Rescue Mission still needs an additional $40,000, but officials are confident a private donor will bridge the gap that would keep the shelter open until March 15.

January 16, 2008|By Jeremy Oberstein

“Homelessness is chronically under funded in Los Angeles,” Ramos said.

“Without some services, it costs the taxpayers money.”

But, because of the amorphous donation, Reinke and Councilman David Gordon voted against the second motion.

Councilman Dave Golonski, in pushing for the allocation of transitional services money, said the rush was necessary given the March 15 planned closing.

"You're not going to solve the problems [the homeless] have with $10,000, but what you are going to do is provide a resource to help them," Golonski said.

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"I don't know that we have the luxury of waiting."

The number of people staying at the shelter has steadily increased since the site opened on Nov. 12, when fewer than 10 people slept at the Burbank site.

In December, 114 homeless people stayed at the shelter, and 87 stayed there Monday night, Bales said.

“As it’s gotten colder outside, we’ll get more people staying at the shelter,” he said.

About half of the 114 new guests identify Glendale as their community of origin, while 18% called Burbank home, Bales said.

In addition to the money the rescue mission sought from the council, a number of private donors provided goods and services.

Women at Emmanuel Church of Burbank made hand-knitted scarves, Holy Family Catholic School in Glendale has donated more than $500 in socks and underwear, and about five people contributed DVDs, a DVD player and other goods, Bales said.

“This kind of community response is not like anything we see at any of our other shelters,” he said.

The rescue mission runs three other missions in Los Angeles County.


 JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers City Hall and public safety. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at jeremy.oberstein@ latimes.com.

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