Burbank officials are attempting to help a homeless individual who has set up and makeshift shelter in the Metrolink parking lot in downtown Burbank.
While at the present time, the lot is not in great demand, city officials believe that the Metrolink lot will once again become crowded as more people return to offices after the pandemic.
This situation was brought to myBurbank ‘s attention by a reader who said that after he had called the Burbank police department’s traffic division about the situation, he was told that Metrolink owned the lot and that the person staying there had mental issues, so there were allowing him to stay there.
He said he also called Metrolink, who told him that the lot was owned and maintained by the City of Burbank. Metrolink manages the train platforms and enforces laws relating to riding Metrolink.
Jonathan Jones, the City of Burbank’s Public Information Officer, said that the lot is owned by Burbank, and the city is aware of the individual there and is trying to give him help.
“Homelessness is not a crime, and the City takes an individualized and humane approach to each unhoused person within Burbank while at the same time trying to balance the safety and needs of our housed residents and visitors. The City has been working with this individual to help him. He has been offered shelter and housing along with other homeless services many times,” said Jones.
He also said that the no parking from 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM does not apply to that lot because many Metrolink users leave their cars there overnight. On the other hand, Burbank’s Municipal Code which states a car may not be parked for 72 consecutive hours, is not being enforced because the current signs do not have the correct municipal code printed on them.
“72-hour prohibition signs will be going up shortly that reference the BMC 6-1-1604. At this point, we will be able to enforce,” said Jones, although he did not give a timetable for when that would be happening.
Presently, the parking lot is close to the Rose Float construction building, and well there is no heavy usage now. City officials are looking at this lot as the first to put in paid metering. Jones said about the parking lot’s future that “This lot was identified as the first location for paid parking by the City Council back in 2019 and in 2021, but staff will be coming back to the Council with an update on its recommendation for where to first begin managing parking. It’s expected later this year.
As for the report of the person being mentally unstable or having mental issues, Jones also clarified, “We have been doing outreach with this person. We don’t mentally diagnose people. This is left to mental health professionals.
We work with all of our unhoused in Burbank, including the individual you’re referencing. We have a dedicated, terrific outreach team that does not give up, regardless of how difficult a case may be.”
Jones also said that this is a situation that is getting plenty of attention from the city, “In regard to visitations, Streetplus, MHET, and BPD have been visiting this gentleman. The number of visits is many since all of these groups regularly stop by. In general, visits are documented in accordance with BPD’s investigatory policies and the City’s general protocols for homeless encampment abatements, there have been numerous visits made to date, and they continue to be ongoing.”
Burbank also works with several local outside agencies to assist homeless people and families in need. Currently, the City Council is looking at a couple of possible sites to build “Tiny Homes,” or create RV parking areas, as some other cities have done.