Oxnard, CA | Halaco Homeless Encampment Eviction Set For November

$790,000 in federal funds allocated

News Release

The City of Oxnard is using $790,000, from federal funds, to do an eviction of the Halaco homeless encampment, which is on private property, next month, in November, 2021. The homeless are residing on and near the slag pile, of the EPA Super Fund site, which is a toxic waste dump, in south Oxnard, near Hueneme Rd and Arcturus Rd. January, 2021, the City Council voted 7-0, to approve the recommendation from Emilio Ramirez, Housing Authority director for $375,000 of CARES Act funds for this eviction, but the eviction was postponed due to COVID concerns. That figure has now more than doubled.

The residents of the encampment were given verbal notice a month ago. Mid-October they were given a written notice, with the warning that they would be arrested for trespassing if they were not gone by November 1st. Ventura County Continuum of Care staff, and Oxnard Housing Authority staff have been intensifying outreach to offer motel room vouchers to the homeless, prior to the eviction date. There are currently about seventy persons in the encampment. So far, five have accepted the up to six-month offering of a room in various local motels. I have spoken with a number of the homeless, and there are many concerns they shared in being reluctant to accept a motel room. Some concerns are mistrust of government, and police authorities, some may have warrants, and others are undocumented, and fear deportation.

Typical scene of homeless encampment in Oxnard, CA

Since this is privately owned property, the eviction must be approved by the owners. They have been bad actors in being responsible for the property. They previously filed for bankruptcy, when the EPA stepped in, and they could not clean up the site completely, and make it safe. The property is not suitable for development, or any other use. Back in December, 2019, Oxnard evicted the homeless. The owners signed off on this, with the possible threat of citations for code violations for the trash on the property, from the homeless. Otherwise, they would have no authority to remove the encampment. The owners have not taken any prior action against the encampment, or provided any security measures, such as private security, or improving the condition of the fence surrounding the slag pile.

The question then becomes, what happens after the eviction? Of the $790,000, up to $387,000 is set aside for the cost of the rooms, at $100/night, approximately $3,000/month/person. The program ends September 2022. With a six month stay, that amounts to roughly twenty-one persons who could get a motel room, of the seventy-so persons on the encampment. It seems unlikely at this point that more than twenty-one will take the offer. But, if they did, the city of Oxnard would be in a real pickle. After a twelve year court battle, Martin vs. Boise, Ninth Circuit Court decision stated;  people experiencing homelessness will not be cited or arrested for sleeping outdoors when no shelter is available, and the city will continue to take steps to put every person experiencing homelessness in Boise on a path to permanent housing. So, this decision set a precedence for other cities across the nation.

We can clearly see that the December, 2019 eviction resulted in no permanent solution to encampments on Halaco. So what is different now? Other than the $3790,000 price tag. Where will the seventy homeless go? A few will take the motel rooms, some will just move back to Ormond Beach, where they were evicted in 2018. Some will just camp on Nature Conservancy property, which surrounds the slag pile. Some will go to the river bottom in Ventura, some to the city of Oxnard and Ventura. Some will find temporary shelter with friends, or family. Very few may move out of the area, without the means for such a move. If they took that $790,000 and divided it up equally for the twenty-one persons gaining a six-month motel room stay, it would be $37,619/person. I asked the five who accepted the offer of the motel room, “Would you rather have six months in a room free, or a truck and trailer to live in, for free?”. All of them said the truck and trailer.


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Peggy Rivera

As the Former chair of the Commission on Homelessness I would like to say this this is so unbelievable that we would be so very stupid to fullishly spend so much money year after year on clean up of this location but it’s either here or where that’s the question, when they are evicted for those that except the voucher program at least they will have a place to stay but where do you think the others are going to be? They will spill out into our community how safe is that for our Community.
we need a shelter as a matter of fact we need more than one according to HUD they would like to see multiples in each city.
At a commission meeting a while back ago it was said what we need is yes shelter but more than anything we need services for our homeless population in the 5 year plan there is no item speaking about educating our homeless population we need that, services that I’m speaking about are these we need a detox center, a behavioral Health program that really work to serve the population of our homeless here in VC, more beds yes there are some but they are taken and the line to get one is very long, if we think our newly plan for a navagation center is going to end homelessness we are surely wrong it is going to house the same 110 clients there just going to be moved over and 57 permonant supportive beds which are good we need them with according to a OPD officer saying there could be at least 1000 homeless in our streets who do we think we are fooling we have a serious problem we at the commission level tried this year to ask the City for 60,000 for hotel vouchers for our foul weather shelter our mighty City Manager said no we didn’t have the money but there going to use $790,000 to do a cleanup don’t you see something wrong with that?
do you think our City really wants to end homelessness it’s hell to the no we have Mercy House that we are paying almost 3M for a 110 beds but because of COVID and social distancing there are only 70 in the shelter at least that was the last we herd from Jessica Petrello out homeless Coordinator all we are doing is making Mercy Rich by way of our homeless to sad. But like our ex Mayor said quote We follow the money after speaking against the new navagation center and him calling me 5 nights in a row to try to convince me to speak to my commissioners to change their stance I told him I would not do that it was their opinion he then said but you need to realize the train already left the track but that was his opinion I didn’t care I still would raise my voice up I still don’t think the navagation center is a good plan it is alittle less that an acre I still think 1450 Rose Ave is a better location for a shelter it is 1.88 acres it only houses 16 people in their program it’s not a domestic violate program as stated by Carmen Ramírez not saying homeless wemon don’t suffer from DV cause they do but a DV program never devolges their location of their programs for the safety of their clients but Emilio Ramírez our Housing Director wants to build 37 units of housing there not saying we don’t need housing because we do we have such a low inventory of housing but when there is a better use for the Community at large for a serious problem we have it makes a lot more sense to me to use the 1450 Rose Ave location for a shelter and I hope it will to you to let’s speak up together.
I will be speaking out more so in the days to come now that I am not the chair of the Commission.
God Bless All if we want change we must make it happen together
next topic I speak about will be about southside.
Best Regards
Peggy Rivera
Resident

James Carrington

I am 1 of those homeless.
70 homeless is a horrible estimate, as the true number is well over 1,000.
I am one who has never been counted.
They probably will never offer me a room, or any other housing, & certainly not a trailer or vehicle.
Corporate media & corporate corrupted leaders cannot be trusted.

Douglas Partello

I am the author of this article. The seventy is an estimate of the homeless at the Halaco encampment. The number of homeless in Oxnard could be as high as 1,000, with those living in cars, RVs, and trailers, and couch surfing.

STORM

DOUG ……SHUT UP. JUST SHUT UP. YOU ARE THE WORST HOMELESS ADVOCATE AND ARE NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGED AS ANY SORT OF ADVOCATE TO THE PEOPLE. YOU AND LANG MARTINEZ ARE BOOT LEG SCAM ARTISTS, COVERING THE GREATEST STORY EVER……YOUR OWN IDIOCY

STORM

I WAS TOLD THAT YOUR NAME IS REALLY PETER AND YOU DONT LIVE ON THE SLAG PILE. THERE IS NO JAMES CARRIGNTOON HERE ON HALACO