Located at 2406 N. Naomi Street, the vacant, 43-year-old apartment building with five parking spaces is owned by the Burbank Housing Corporation and undergoing significant interior and exterior enhancements. The board first approved the change of use, followed by a conditional use permit for the newly established purpose.
Board member Emily Gabel-Luddy was careful to differentiate the 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment from a homeless shelter.
“It’s not a shelter,” she said, before confirming an applicant screening process with members of the nonprofit’s board. “It’s helping people get on their feet.”
The approval was met with applause from a significant group of community and religious stalwarts, all of whom visited the City Hall chambers to speak in support of the program and proposal.
A handful of neighbors approached the dais offering their blessings between speeches by a pastor, rabbi and former city mayor.
Former Mayor Marsha Ramos submitted a petition to the board that was signed by neighbors she called and visited.
“I got the impression that there was a lot of misunderstanding,” Ramos said. “So I went out to the neighborhood this afternoon and walked it and indeed there was a lot of misconception about what was going to happen in that particular apartment.”
After explaining in Spanish that the unit would be used as a day center by vetted families, most of whose members spend the better part of the day in school or looking for jobs and housing: “There was really a compassionate response from the neighborhood,” she said.