Homelessness: Community Action Oxnard Facility Reopened

By Douglas Partello, video: Lang Martinez

Community Action of Ventura County, shut down for months when funding was exhausted, resumes shower and laundry service on Mondays ….

Lang Martinez, homeless advocate, and I visited Community Action of Ventura County (CAVC), at their 621 Richmond Ave. site in Oxnard, Monday, August 24, 2020. This once a week, on Mondays, service began again on August 17, 2020, providing showers, and laundry service only, from 8a.m. til noon. Folks were allowed to charge their phones. They have two washers, two dryers, and four showers.

This service by Community Action is considered essential by the homeless. Just to take a shower, and have clean clothes makes such a difference. There are other showers offered by One Stop of Ventura County, run by James Boyd,at various locations. The other services are essential to the needs of the homeless. To be able to get mail, especially checks from SSI, and other sources of their very limited income, to have an address to give when looking for a job, and referrals to other services are the vital links to climbing out of the abyss of living on the streets, or in encampments, and back into productive lives again. CAVC has a wish list on their Website, ca-vc.org. Obviously, volunteers are also most needed. Phone (805) 436-4000, Fax (805) 487-2512.

The day before we traveled to various locations within a seven mile radius, where the homeless often are found. This was to notify them of the opening of this service,and to share with them a map of the four areas that the Illegal camping ordinance, 2966, is enforced. which many seemed uninformed about both. We spoke with the Pastor , at Rescue Mission. He was unaware of CAVC reopening for this service. He said he would get the word out. 

The showers and laundry were to be manned by volunteers. Only one volunteer showed up. I spoke with Vince Stewart, director, and the onsite man in charge, Arnie, about the services. He stated that Ventura County Homeless Services, through the office of Tara Carruth, second in command, under Mike Powers (Editor’s note: Ms. Carruth works for the County Executive Office and is the Program Manager for the Ventura County Continuum of Care.), has committed to fund this service through them for a six month period. He is hopeful that this may be extended, and the prior services offered, such as WiFi, phone charging, P.O. Boxes, mailing address, and connection to other service agencies, may be reinstated. Those services were terminated March 27,2020, due to a lack of funding. They are in contact with the City of Oxnard, seeking financial assistance for these important services for the homeless, and a coordination of efforts. They are also offering “Thankful Thursdays” food distribution. 

Lang and I responded to the need for personal hygiene items, they did not have at this time to offer, and volunteered to do laundry, as their one volunteer was doing intake. We brought enough bags of personal hygiene items for all that showed up; masks, hand sanitizer, bar soap, wash cloth, pair of socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, comb or hair brush, baby wipes, razor, feminine hygiene, Q-Tips, and about 30 additional bags for later offering. About twenty folks showed up. We also gave out four phone battery chargers. Those were a big hit! Access to charge a cell phone is a big issue for the homeless. There was not enough laundry detergent, and a couple of the homeless donated some Tide Pods.

 

Lang Martinez ‘splains importance of Community Action, covers some other local homeless issues in this video:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=324574768662787&id=100033308001882&sfnsn=mo&extid=mJeLSfpqCwdI2f73

 

 

 

 

 

Previous article:

Oxnard Homeless Programs Status- Ormond Beach Again Overrun; Commission Advocates $34 million “Navigation Center”/Homeless Shelter and More

 

Douglas Partello is a homeless advocate, community activist, retired neonatal respiratory therapist, Executive Director, Nicaraguan Children’s Fund.

Lang Martinez is an Oxnard homeless advocate.


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One Response to Homelessness: Community Action Oxnard Facility Reopened

  1. P W Robinson August 30, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    Everything anyone would ever want to understand about the Ventura County treatment of the homeless is contained in this article, as private citizens are forced to do what every other municipality handles in stride.

    As this basic, elemental resource struggles to its feet on its own dime, a $35,000,000 initiative passes to house 100 people. Insanity.

    We are the least compassionate county in the nation on this issue, by any measure.

    And the homeless die here at the highest rate in the nation.

    Reply

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