Burbank City Council Moves Forward to Help City’s Homeless Population

(File Photo by Ross A Benson)

During the City Council Meeting on April 9, 2024, the Burbank City Council took steps to further address homelessness by selecting 323-333 S. Front Street and 10 E. Verdugo Avenue as the site for a Homeless Solutions Center and directing staff to move forward with design and community engagement. Council also adopted a resolution declaring a shelter crisis within the City of Burbank and authorized the request to ask for $3,450,000 from the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Regional Housing Trust to support the development of this project. 

“The City Council’s approval of staff’s recommendation to create a Homeless Solutions Center and Safe Parking program marks a crucial step forward in our commitment to providing comprehensive and compassionate support to those experiencing homelessness in our community. The City Council’s decision underscores our dedication to tackling homelessness in Burbank and ensuring that every resident has access to shelter, resources, and the opportunity to rebuild their lives,” said Mayor of Burbank Nick Schultz. “It is abundantly clear that Burbank currently lacks the capacity to adequately assist our existing unhoused population. By adopting the homeless shelter crisis resolution, we are taking proactive measures to address homelessness in Burbank, which in turn, allows us to maintain a safe and inclusive community.” 

The selected site is optimal as it is not adjacent to residential and commercial businesses and it offers convenient access to various public transportation options, including the Metrolink station and adjacency to rail services on the southeast side of Interstate 5, along with the intersection of numerous bus lines in the area. The presence of Interstate 5, the rail tracks, and the Olive Bridge serve as buffers to nearby residential areas. Furthermore, the site’s close proximity next door to The SAFE, Burbank’s homeless storage site and help center, further contributed to its selection. 

The development of the proposed Homeless Solutions Center would include several key features, consisting of a small transitional shelter with approximately 26 studio-type units designed for interim housing, providing approximately 49 beds. Additionally, the Center will continue to offer storage through The SAFE, and add laundry services, offices for caseworkers and security personnel, and communal amenities for program participants. A Safe Parking Program would provide 14 overnight parking spaces for homeless living within their non-RV vehicles. The Homeless Solutions Center will also offer services that assist in finding permanent shelter and help with substance use rehabilitation and mental health. 

The City Council’s approval to request $3,450,000 from the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Regional Housing Trust will contribute towards the project’s total estimated cost of $5,000,000. Additional funding for this initiative will be drawn from various sources, including the Community Development Block Grant, the Redevelopment Successor Agency, and a Measure H grant. 

The development of this project has been guided by the City’s five-year Homelessness Plan (2022 – 2027), which was approved by the Council in December 2022. As key strategies outlined in the Plan, the 

resolution declaring a shelter crisis adopted by the Council is dedicated to addressing the imperative need for shelter and housing accessibility, as well as addressing vehicle dwellers within the City. The implementation of the Homeless Solutions Center and Safe Parking not only aligns with the objectives outlined in the Homelessness Plan but also provides a safe and humane place where Burbank’s homeless population can access assistance and services. 

After the Council’s resolution declaring a shelter crisis and the approval of the site for the Homeless Solutions Center and Safe Parking, the City is set to advance to the next steps of the development process. This will include conducting community outreach efforts, seeking funding from the Burbank-Glendale- Pasadena Regional Housing Trust, establishing Catchment Zone Designations to clearly identify parameters prioritizing services for Burbank’s unhoused, and streamlining the Planning and Building Code requirements to adhere to community needs. 

For more information about the resolution, approved Homeless Solutions Center, Safe Parking, and Homelessness Plan, please watch the Burbank City Council Meeting, and download the supporting material here.