William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Sat, 17 Sep 2005 07:10:13 -0400


Article Launched: 09/17/2005

Agency needed to run shelter for homeless

By Alex Dobuzinskis, Staff Writer

GLENDALE - City officials are hunting for a new agency to run the Project
Achieve homeless shelter after the existing operator said it will pull out
to focus on developing affordable housing.
Under an agreement with Glendale, the nonprofit Institute for Urban Research
and Development runs an access center, a 40-bed shelter and transitional and
permanent housing programs.
The city is looking for a new operator to run those programs in the coming
years under its $1.8 million grant.
"We want the same thing; we just want a new administrator over the grant
dollars," said Leanda Griffin, Glendale's community development supervisor
in charge of homeless programs.
The Los Angeles-based Institute for Urban Research and Development's
staffers have been splitting their time between helping the homeless and
developing affordable housing, said Joe Coletti, executive director.
"We feel that there's an affordable housing crisis and we want to be able to
put 100 percent of our effort into helping communities resolve the crisis,"
Coletti said.
According to a city report, the Project Achieve operator decided to
transition the shelter to another operator because of "considerable
financial constraints ... and the intensive administrative burden" of
managing public grants for the homeless. IURD had to raise about $250,000 a
year to qualify for public grant money.
The Salvation Army could answer the city's call to run Project Achieve.
"The program has been a very successful program ... and we would hope that
whoever operates it would be as equally diligent in doing that program,"
said James Sloan, captain for the Glendale Salvation Army. "We think that
the Salvation Army would be a good partner in that because the mission of
the Salvation Army lines up very well with the programs that are there."
The city hopes to have a new operator for Project Achieve and its associated
homeless programs by Dec. 31, but Coletti said the institute will ensure a
smooth transition even if it means staying into next year.
On any given night, the city has more than 360 homeless people, which
includes those who have been set up with temporary housing, Griffin said.
The institute serves 1,400 homeless individuals a year in Glendale and has
20 employees at the Project Achieve shelter at 437 Fernando Court.
"The homeless folks come to Glendale for the reason that many of us come to
Glendale," Sloan said. "It's a good standard of living, it's clean, it's
safe, there's a good police department, that kind of thing."
Most of the grant money to run homeless programs in Glendale comes from the
federal government.

Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304