On any given day, there are 531 homeless individuals in the City of Ventura, with 386 of them residing outdoors. The City works closely with local social service providers and the County of Ventura to support existing programs and create new partnerships to help link unsheltered individuals to supportive services. While the surge of homelessness many other California cities are facing is not duplicated in Ventura, we strive to make substantial impacts through Safe & Clean 2.0.
Addressing Homelessness in Ventura: City’s Safe & Clean Team Works to Address Concerns
What is the City of Ventura doing to address homelessness? This is a frequently asked question. The City of Ventura works closely with local social service providers and the County of Ventura to support programs for long terms solutions for homeless individuals. The Safe and Clean Program is a City led effort to make substantial impacts on homelessness in our community. Here are a few ways the City is working with community partners to address this issue in Ventura: ....
- The Salvation Army’s Safe Sleep Program, funded by the City, was doubled to increase capacity from 15 cars to 30. The Safe Sleep Program allows carefully screened individuals to stay in their cars in church parking lots that provide access to bathrooms. Case management by the Salvation Army targets help to get individuals back into jobs and housing.
- Ventura contracts with the Turning Point Foundation to provide River Haven, a transitional living program which can house up to 30 people. Clients are case managed and receive assistance in progression to permanent housing and employment opportunities.
- The Downtown Ventura Partner’s Park Ambassador program is a collaborative effort with Parks, Recreation and Community Partnerships. The Park Ambassadors offer presence in the highly trafficked locations of Plaza Park, Mission Park, the Promenade, and Kellogg Park. They offer a friendly face, connect with individuals in the parks, offer links to services, mitigate negative behaviors, and have a direct link to the Ventura Police Patrol Task Force.
- The ARCH Permanent Year-Round Shelter. The City and County’s first year-round 24/7 sheltering efforts is now open. The shelter, run by Mercy House, is low barrier and will accommodate 55 individuals (17 women, 38 men) and their pets! Every individual at the shelter must work on their housing plan and be committed to transitioning out of homelessness.
- Proactive Outreach Worker. Funded in half by Measure O and half by the County, our Proactive Outreach Worker Christina directly reaches out to homeless individuals and families within the City limits. Data shows consistent engagement and outreach builds trust and helps get individuals off the street. Christina has made notable, measurable strides toward getting homeless individuals connected to the right services to improve their lives since the program began in December 2019.