Glendale-based social service groups were also unable to host the shelter because they said running the program would be great burden on their staffs and budgets.
“I think it’s important for people to have a shelter to go when it’s cold and rains,” Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski said.
Having the shelter in Burbank was a contentious issue among residents, who worry that hosting it could result in safety issues.
City and public safety officials said no major problems were reported last year as a result of the shelter’s opening, although police got calls about homeless people loitering during the day near local businesses like Fry’s Electronics.
Burbank Vice Mayor Gary Bric said he had no concerns about the shelter, which he said is safe because it’s heavily secured.
“I think it’s the right thing to do to get these people off the streets,” Bric said.
The shelter does not operate a walk-in program, Bales said. Shelter guests must be picked up in the evening at two bus stops in Burbank and Glendale.
At the Glendale stop, a case manager from PATH Achieve Glendale will be providing outreach services and getting some of the shelter’s guests healthcare, organization executive director Natalie Profant Komuro said.
When guests arrive at the winter shelter, they will be given dinner and other items, such as hats, disposable razors, underwear and socks. They will be served breakfast in the morning.
The city is also making sure portable restrooms are at the stops, Bales said.
“The city of Burbank has been wonderful in working with us,” he said.
Shelter organizers will seek out transitional housing for the guests so they have a place to stay after the shelter closes in March, Bales said.
“It’s really a chance at life,” he said. “We really try to encourage people to give life another try.”
At last year’s shelter, Bales met an 86-year-old woman who was homeless and had bronchitis and pneumonia.
He got the woman and her daughter temporary housing at a hotel, and she later moved into the Hope Gardens Family Center in Los Angeles.
“Her life has really made a turn for the better,” Bales said.
VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at email@example.com.