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Day labor center in Glendale closes

July 18, 2011 |  7:55 am

A Catholic charitable group has closed a day labor center at the Home Depot in Glendale after the cash-strapped city cut its subsidy for the program.

The labor center was created when Glendale banned soliciting from curbs, but the law was relaxed after the city was challenged in court, the Glendale News-Press reported.

Since then, the center has struggled to attract workers, who prefer to seek work curbside, officials said.

“When our lawsuit was resolved, we relaxed our rules,” said City Councilman Ara Najarian. “There really was no incentive for people to use the day labor center.”

The Glendale City Council voted last month to eliminate the city’s $90,000 subsidy.  In turn, Catholic Charities of Los Angeles says it had no choice but to close the center as of July 1.

The center had guaranteed a minimum hourly wage of $8, restrooms, water, telephone access and a waiting room for workers.

Since the July 1 closure, more workers have turned to the corner of San Fernando Road and Harvard Street to find employment. That has pushed other regulars into the Home Depot parking lot, where they run the risk of being kicked out or cited by police.

But some workers say it’s a risk they are willing to take for a couple hours of work.


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Photo: Day laborers crowd around a potential employer at the Home Depot parking lot in Glendale.  Credit: Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press