It’s Not a Crime to be Poor: More on LA’s Homeless

Home is where the tarp is
Home is where the tarp is

Since yesterday’s post on the rise in homeless families, I’ve received a host of emails, tweets, and comments offering various resources and links. Most immediately, Union Rescue Mission is trying to combat a hostile press and public in Burbank and Glendale. It seems the mission has had a hard time providing services in Burbank because of a hostile public reception. Some connected Burbankians (connected to the city council and the press) claim that the shelter serves drug addicts, sex offenders, and criminals, and they would like the shelter guests find somewhere else to be impoverished .

The Rescue Mission is calling for interested Burbank citizens to show up:

Thursday, March 19 to the Burbank Fire Training Center Meeting Room, 1845 N. Ontario Street, Burbank, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. to speak up for a local solution to the homelessness faced by many in the Burbank area.

Another resource worth elevating from the comments section below is the reference to LA Eastside’s post on Take Back the Land. Those of you who’ve had the pleasure of discussing economics or politics with me know that I am pretty much of an unreconstructed leftist. I do think private property creates crime, at least to some degree. But even if you’re not with me on the whole “viva la revolucion” sentiment, let’s try to stand together in a position of social compassion and downright human decency that doesn’t see people as necessarily criminal just because they aren’t land owners. Get it together Burbank!

Finally, in other news, the ACLU in December won a battle to stop the police from conducting illegal searches of the homeless on Skid Row. Peter Bibring of the ACLU/SC tempers his optimism: “But abuses are bound to occur as long as the city tries to address homelessness on Skid Row as a law enforcement problem rather than a social problem. ”

Amen

5 Replies to “It’s Not a Crime to be Poor: More on LA’s Homeless”

  1. Oh, this just burns me up but I’m stranded here in Las Vegas and can’t come down there to kick some ass. I rented a home in Burbank on West Verdugo near Hollywood Way for three years. I love Burbank: it’s bucolic, clean (for the most part), arts friendly (they damn near better be with that many studio craftsmen living in their borders), and very safe — with so many high-profile media entities as their main industry, Burbank has a very strong and very, very noticeable police department (they even have their very own eye in the sky, which you will come to know as the buzzing sound above your roof that lulls you to sleep at night). In some ways it’s sort of like living in a utopian police state. Believe me, Burbank PD can handle any riff raff that traipse across their border with ill intent or just a need for a tent …

    … but I don’t think that’s the issue here. There are parts of Burbank that are filled with low-income brown-skinned folk (San Fernando Road terrain) but they are the silent, sneered-upon minority. The majority of Burbank residents, the ones who have an active community voice with the city council and city planners, are lilly-white and conservative to the core and consider themselves cultured because they can read a few paragraphs of Toni Morrison’s latest book during the commercial breaks on “Lost.” (They must watch “Lost”, you understand, because their next-door neighbor is the key grip/gaffer/director/writer or one of the stars of the show.) These are not evolved thinkers, in other words. They are reactionaries. To the average Burbankian mind, Rescue Mission translates to “icky, smelly homeless people”. Ew! Not in Burbank.

    It’s just more NIMBY bullshit, Travis, but feel free to show up at the meeting on my behalf and read my missive. I loved Burbank from the first blush (and I still do) but there’s a benign redneck culture at large in that town born from the fact that for so many decades banks were handing down home loans to people of a middle-class stripe represented on TV by shows like Roseanne and Married with Children. Got the picture? Burbank.

  2. For years communities throughout the area have shipped their homeless to downtown Los Angeles. That era is over. For Burbank to ignore that these people are from Burbank, not criminals from elsewhere, is the height of callousness. Los Angeles won’t take them anymore, and the cameras installed in Skid Row await anyone who tries to dump the homeless there ($500,000 fine per pop).

    If decent and reasonable facilities are not built to address the problem, these people will end up on the streets of Burbank. And how is this better than a facility where they can get help?

  3. I understand tent cities are forming in the IE. How soon before we get our own hoovervilles? What is the plan with the new administration to resolve that housing problem?

  4. Please Travis get it together. In Burbank we are Burbankers not Burbankians. This was voted on in open City Council. Seems like you do not know our city.. So shhhhhhhhhh, quiet till you are informed.

    It is better to dole-out resources in one geographical area than all over the county. We are in a financial crisis. Save the gas, save the money and do not bus these poor people all around the county. Give them the resources they need all in one area.

  5. For about 20% of the people in the shelter, Burbank was there neighborhood before they became homeless. About 25% called Glendale home. Most of the others came from No Ho, Sun Valley Pasadena (especially when the Pasadena shelter closed in Feb.) and other parts of the valley. Shelter residents’ choice which shelter of the many winter shelters they want to go to. And people will choice to be close to the community they know and or were they work (yes, many of the shelter residents have jobs and in Burbank most of them work for TV-movie industries)

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