Homeless people are counting on PATH

At the main homeless shelter operated by PATH Achieve Glendale, the lack of privacy for overnight clients can be frustrating. The inability to separate loner men from women and children has long hampered the shelter's ability to keep up with demand, and has limited the nonprofit's ability to take in a wider range of homeless clients.

A $2-million city loan approved this week for a new, larger homeless center could soon change that.

Glendale has historically taken a proactive approach to addressing the needs of the area's homeless, due in no small part to the effective working relationship between service providers, city officials and the business community.

With escrow closing on a new joint facility through the nonprofit S. H. Ho Hope and Compassion Center — to be operated by PATH Achieve — the current shelter should soon be a memory. The new center would allow for separate sleeping quarters for men and women and their children, a larger services center and stability.

In actually owning this building, as opposed to relying on the up-and-down swings of leasing, the homeless service providers will be able to plan for the long term. Tucked in next to the southern boundary with Los Angeles off San Fernando Road, it will also likely manage to be out of sight, out of mind for the general public.

That's typically the desire when it comes to homeless shelters, especially in mixed-use areas. But let's hope it's not the case in terms of this community's collective consciousness. As PATH Achieve takes on this seminal project — especially a matching $2-million contribution for the building — the nonprofit will need our help now more than ever.

The business community has repeatedly shown itself willing to step up to the plate, but any nonprofit administrator will tell you that having buy-in from a wide cross-section of the community is vital for the long term financial help of any organization.

Let's support PATH Achieve as it takes on a major, long term commitment to this community, and the down-and-out people who so desperately depend on its services.

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