The city’s most recent survey of homeless people, taken in January 2007, found that Glendale had 296 homeless people, 79 of whom were chronically homeless, Samvelyan said.
That figure may change for the worse with the current financial crisis straining families, she said.
“With the economic situation we could possibly see an increase in homelessness,” Samvelyan said. “But we’ll wait and see.”
Glendale is one of six locations in the Los Angeles area to hold a “connect day” event for homeless people, with two to be held in downtown, two in south Los Angeles and one in Pomona, she said.
The individual events are all part of the nation’s Project Homeless Connect, in which more than 200 organizations across the country will participate next week, according to the federal Interagency Council on Homelessness.
While Glendale has received volunteer commitments from people in the community, more participants could be useful in providing a one-to-one ratio of homeless attendees and volunteers, said Jerome Nilssen, directory of residential programs at PATH Achieve Glendale.
“We would like to have each homeless person escorted by a volunteer to make certain that the person hits all of those salient programs that would be useful to the homeless person,” Nilssen said of the more than 80 homeless people expected to attend.
Of the services to be offered by organizations, including the departments of public social services and mental health, one of the most useful for the city and for homeless people will be access to the public defender’s office, Nilssen said.