The City of Glendale’s 2019 Homeless Count was a collaborative effort between the City of Glendale, the Glendale Homeless Continuum of Care, homeless alumni, and community volunteers. The results of the 2019 Homeless Count provide information that serves as the basis for understanding the nature and extent of the current trends in homelessness in the City of Glendale and responding to the unmet needs and gaps in services for homeless individuals and families in the City of Glendale.
On January 22, 2019, 243 persons were homeless according to the Glendale 2019 Homeless Count and Survey Final Report. The previous homeless count and subpopulation survey was completed in 2018 during which 260 persons were counted. A comparison of the last two counts reveals that 17 less persons were counted in 2019, which represents a decrease of 6.5%. Despite this one-year decrease, hundreds of men, women, and children are still sleeping on the streets in Glendale. According to the 2019 Homeless Count Surveys, 33.1% or 46 households became homeless for the first time in the City of Glendale due to a confluence of factors, including drastic increase in rents, loss of employment, and unexpected illness.
There are three factors that contribute to the concerning number of homeless population in Glendale.
Rising Rents and Slow Income Growth
Record-high rental housing costs coupled with slow income growth has led to an increasingly unaffordable rental housing market. Twenty-five out of the 46 (54%) households counted as homeless for the first time in the City of Glendale stated that they “could not afford rent increase.” While some had a job and income, they did not earn enough to make ends meet.
Loss of Employment
Of the 46 households counted homeless for the first time during the 2019 Homeless Count, 22, or 48%, attributed losing their employment as the primary cause of their homelessness. Homelessness and loss of employment overlap for a significant portion of unsheltered people, according to the 2019 Homeless Count in Glendale. The overlap creates a barrier to stable housing.
Three of 46 (7%) unsheltered households surveyed attributed their homelessness to “unexpected illness.” An acute physical condition may lead to homelessness; homelessness itself can exacerbate chronic medical conditions. A person can become chronically homeless the longer they remain unsheltered without stable housing making it difficult to access treatment or preventive care.
City of Glendale continues the efforts to end homelessness in our community and based on the 2019 Homeless Count results has developed the following nine (9) recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Using Measure S Funding to provide affordable housing to end homelessness in Glendale.
Recommendation 2: Using Measure H Funding to prevent and end homelessness in Glendale.
Recommendation 3: Using Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) and California Emergency Solutions and Housing Program (CESH) Funding to reduce homelessness in Glendale.
Recommendation 4: Finish the job of ending homelessness among unsheltered veterans.
Recommendation 5: Develop, adopt, and implement a zero-tolerance policy for children living on the streets, in vehicles, and other places not meant for human habitation.
Recommendation 6: Completely align with a Housing First Model and low barrier approach for chronically homeless individuals and families.
Recommendation 7: Align the current homeless services delivery system with HUD’s goal of ending homelessness among women by 2020.
Recommendation 8: Collaboration with the Glendale Police Department Community Impact Bureau and the Department of Mental Health.
Recommendation 9: Provide HIV/AIDS housing and healthcare to homeless people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA).