First published in the Sept. 10 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released the 2022 Homeless Point-in-Time Count numbers on Thursday.
This was the first official Homeless Point-in-Time Count since 2020 due to a hiatus during COVID. Burbank’s homeless numbers declined by 9%, from 291 in 2020 to 264 in 2022.
Numbers in Los Angeles County did increase, however, by 4.1%, from 66,436 in 2020 to 69,144 in 2022.
“We are happy to see the number of homeless residents within Burbank decrease at a time when homelessness is increasing overall in Los Angeles. It is a testament to the efforts of the entire community, the city, and our many service partners,” Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes said.
Individuals who become homeless in Burbank do not receive services in the city itself, as there are currently no homeless shelters in Burbank.
Instead, people who are willing are relocated to other cities through Burbank partnerships such as Street Plus and Ascencia, which deploy street teams to identify people experiencing homelessness. The individuals are then placed in programs such as Project Roomkey, which is coming to an end this month, or other supportive housing programs based on need.
“It takes the entire community to make an impact,” City Manager Justin Hess said. “Burbank residents are very diligent and proactive in reporting when they see new homeless [people] in our city and because of this, our outreach team can make contact as soon as they arrive and let them know how we can help them.”
Other city partners include the Burbank Police Department’s Mental Health Evaluation Team, Home Again Los Angeles and others.
Since April 2019, the outreach team has assisted 140 individuals with finding shelter, rehabilitation programs and/or reuniting them with family members.
“We can’t let up on our homelessness-assistance efforts,” said Patrick Prescott, Burbank community development director. “We need to continue to help our people living on Burbank’s streets and within their cars. Our programs are working, but we still have people who need our help.”
Similar to other municipalities, Burbank is currently planning a tiny-homes village for the city’s homeless individuals and transition them to permanent housing.
In a survey released this July, Burbank residents identified homelessness as the largest issue for Burbank residents by a large margin.
Proposition LH, Proposition ULA and others on the ballot this November could provide additional housing opportunities for the county’s homeless individuals if approved.