Christopher Cadelago of the Burbank Leader writes about the closing of the Burbank Winter shelter on Sunday. The Union Rescue Mission and EIMAGO Inc have operated the winter shelter since Dec. 1, 2008. A total of 473 men and women have been provided meals and a safe place to sleep since the winter shelter opened.
Union Rescue Mission’s CEO Andy Bales is concerned about what will happen to the individuals who sought shelter over the last few months and would love to see the shelter remain open.
But the chances of that happening are slim, said the Rev. Andy Bales, chief executive of the Los Angeles Union Rescue Mission, the shelter’s operator.
“Not only do we have to contend with the shrinking economy and growing unemployment, which I believe is actually closer to 20%, but now we’re in the process of listening to complaints from neighbors and doing our best to address them,” Bales said. “It’s something that needs to be done to keep us up and running.”
Bales said he met Friday with Councilman David Gordon, who shared with him some of the community’s concerns. Among them are problems with loitering, public urination and homeless people arriving at the shelter at all hours of the evening.
Another complaint lodged against the Union Rescue Mission and EIMAGO Inc., the nonprofit that takes care of day-to-day duties, is that volunteers have failed to keep criminals away, specifically sex offenders.
To tackle issues of loitering and walk-ins, Bales said, the Union Rescue Mission has spent about $40,000 on increased shuttle service to and from the facility in the last month.
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