homeless since Sept. 6 and is about to run out of money. "You're
always in a state of panic."
He can't bear the thought of sleeping in his car another night,
which led him to the Salvation Army Glendale Corps office on Thursday
afternoon in search of food, shelter and a job.
A computer programmer by trade, Michael, who declined to give his
last name, lost his job about six months ago following a painful
His unemployment payments have stopped, and he was recently denied
welfare because he said he made too much at his last job. He owes
hundreds of dollars in monthly child support and car payments.
Michael is among those who don't fit the stereotypical homeless
profile, according to city officials and those who provide homeless
Not all are sleeping in doorways or staking out street corners
begging passerby for cigarettes and spare change, officials said.
"You don't see 400 homeless pushing carts in the street," Mayor
Rafi Manoukian said Thursday. "That's a small percentage."
"I would say about half the folks we see have a story about
missing a paycheck, losing a job and spiraling into homelessness,"
said Tracy Fletcher, director of social services for the Salvation
Army Glendale Corps on West Windsor Road.
THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN
For many who are homeless or heading there, including single
parents and senior citizens, circumstances are often to blame,
according to Christine Hanson, director of Catholic Charities
Glendale Community Center on San Fernando Road.
"It isn't necessarily a choice," Hanson said. "There are a lot of
people who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. It could
happen to any of us."
Keith Jackson, 42, and Sandra Wyatt, 34, both have jobs. But they
couldn't afford to pay the rent on their West Los Angeles apartment
when it was increased from $495 to $750 in July.
Since Aug. 5, Jackson, Wyatt and their young daughter have lived
at Project ACHIEVE, a combination case-management program and
emergency shelter in south Glendale.
Jackson and Wyatt make a combined $1,100 a month. But with the
help of Project ACHIEVE -- which holds 80% of a resident's income as