shelter to return Dec. 16 to its controversial former address, the city's
National Guard Armory, 220 E. Colorado St. If the Housing Authority says
no, many homeless people may have to seek shelter in other cities or rely
on churches and other organizations for help.
The homeless are using the Glendale YMCA until a shelter opens nightly
Dec. 16. The YMCA isn't capable of handling the more than 100 people a
night who need shelter throughout the winter.
At its Tuesday meeting, the Housing Authority will have the option of
halting its $225,000 expenditure for the acrylic-covered building, toilet
and shower facilities or using the armory, according to a draft agenda of
the meeting. A written report from City Manager Jim Starbird will be
given to the council this afternoon.
The cost for site preparations and installing an electrical system for
heating the building would run about $90,000 for property that is
available only for a year, officials said. A similar expense would be
faced next year at a different location.
"I was opposed to this in the beginning," said Housing Authority
Chairman and City Councilman Rafi Manoukian in supporting a return to the
armory. "I have felt strongly that spending $250,000 to $300,000 for a
temporary structure while we had the armory available is not the best use
of funds. I am encouraged that they recognized some shortfalls and are
pulling it before it is too late."
Councilwoman Ginger Bremberg also said she is willing to support a
return to the armory if there is enough security. Without committing to a
site, Councilman Sheldon Baker said Thursday the city must have a
In August 1999, the Housing Authority called for a new shelter site in
response to complaints about the homeless from library patrons,
businesses and seniors at the Adult Recreation Center.
"At this point, my answer is 'no,' " Mayor Dave Weaver said about
returning to the armory. "I will just have to read the report and see if
there are any convincing arguments to change my mind. I have been pretty
adamant for three years, but nothing is cast in stone."
Glendale Police have raised the loudest concerns in the past 16 months
about returning to the armory. Police have cited increased thefts,
vandalism, and other crimes due to the homeless.
"We do have concerns," said Glendale Police spokesman Sgt. Rick Young.
"This location keeps them in the center of town where they can harass
citizens at the library, senior center and all of the businesses and
The city has ordered the steel-framed building and would be liable for
some expenses, which have yet to be determined.
A HOMELESS HOMELESS SHELTER
AUGUST 1999 -- Glendale Housing Authority approves Glendale National
Guard Armory for one final winter and orders new location be found for
APRIL 2000 -- Glendale Police releases report citing how since 1995,
winter shelter has increased crimes downtown.
SEPTEMBER 2000 -- Glendale Housing Authority approves paying $225,000
for temporary building to use as homeless shelter at 540 W. Chevy Chase
TUESDAY -- Housing Authority to decide whether to drop building plans
and return to armory.