Glendale works to protect city’s homeless from the coronavirus

A portable toilet with a wash station between the Adult Recreation Center and the Central Library in Glendale on March 24, 2020. Portable hygiene stations have been placed in various Glendale locations for the homeless to use in lieu of city services which are now closed because of the coronavirus.
(Tim Berger/Glendale News-Press)

With more and more people staying at home because of the novel coronavirus, Glendale officials are moving to help the city’s homeless population protect themselves during the outbreak.

One action the city took was to install several portable restrooms and hand-washing stations across Glendale to help maintain good personal hygiene, according to a statement from city spokeswoman Eliza Papazian.

Health experts recommend people regularly wash their hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds to help avoid becoming infected with the virus. They should also avoid touching their face.

Hand-washing stations have been placed at Ascencia at 1851 Tyburn St., Catholic Charities at 4322 San Fernando Road, the Armenian Relief Society at 517 W. Glenoaks Blvd. and First United Methodist Church at 134 N. Kenwood St.

According to the statement, portable hand-washing stations and restrooms can be found at Carr, Pacific, Cerritos, Central and Palmer parks.

In addition to providing a way to maintain their personal hygiene, members of the city’s police department as well as the community services and parks department have been delivering packaged meals to the city’s homeless on a daily basis.

Glendale has nine confirmed cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, and the city saw its first death as a result of the outbreak on Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The city’s efforts mirror those being taken in Los Angeles and Burbank to help address the coronavirus outbreak as it relates to the homeless population — around 248 of whom are in Glendale.

While Burbank has no shelter of its own, the city has set up a portable hand-washing station and restrooms in the downtown area. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has been working on converting several dozen recreation centers to house the homeless.

Gov. Gavin Newsom last week called on municipalities across the state to help slow the spread of the coronavirus among the homeless population by converting hundreds of facilities, like recreation centers and hotels, into emergency shelters.

Newsom said $150 million in emergency funding will be used toward housing the roughly 150,000 homeless people in the state.

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