Oxnard Moves Forward with Homeless ‘Navigation Center’ Plans

By Douglas Partello

Oxnard Moves Forward with Homeless ‘Navigation Center’ Plans. The proposed Homeless ‘Navigation Center’ is planned for the old Code Building, on the corner of 2nd St. & B St. across from the Library. The Planning Commission, at the 12/17/20 meeting, approved the special permits (SUP) exemptions necessary for parking.

The City is working with two non-profits; Community Development Partners (CDP), for the development of the plan, and Mercy House, as the service provider. There are five floors of the building that will make up the facility for this project. One hundred and ten temporary shelter beds, 55 PSH (Permanent Shelter Housing) units, and 40+ subsidized rental units. There is a common use area, outside rest area, storage, and office spaces. There will be catered meals provided, and on-site person to work with directing clients to services available through outside organizations and government programs. Mercy House will provide 24/7 security, with on-site staff doing patrols of the surrounding area, 1000 ft. to the N & W, 500 ft. to S. & E., at least four times per week, to monitor any client activity that may impact the local neighborhood negatively.

The planned length of stay for temporary shelter is ninety days, but exceptions will be made if a person is actively in a process to gain permanent shelter. The length of stay could go up to one year, or more. The idea is to not set an arbitrary number of days, then return the person back onto the streets, but rather continue the process that is moving toward successful placement. The clients will be transported, via shuttle, in and out of the facility, at a designated pick up and drop off location. No visitors will be allowed. Clients are restricted to coming and going only for necessary appointments, jobs, etc. The allocation of shelter is by referral only, by Ventura County, and Oxnard Housing Authority. No warrants, and 290 registry check.

Placement for permanent housing, either through Section 8, Vouchers currently has long waiting lists. Chronically homeless can wait 4-5 years! Section 8 is closed at this time. Fifty-seven vouchers were given last year. The on-site staff is two persons overnight, with two security persons, a third for pick ups. During the day, 3-6 staff may be on-site. The renovation of the building will be by a general contractor. It was suggested using local labor, but not a requirement. Those that successfully move from temporary shelter to PSH will pay 30% of adjusted gross income in rent. There have been some concerns that the placement of this shelter will attract homeless to Oxnard. Emilio Ramirez, Oxnard Housing Dept. addressed this concern, stating that relocation is based upon a personal decision, not services available, or being comfortable where they are homeless.

No influx coming to Oxnard for the shelter. No walk ups, referrals only, shuttled in. Seems the Navigation Center is a certainty at this point. Whether it makes fiscal and objective sense is yet to be determined. The impact of the recent court decision on Utility Fund IUFs, returning $34.5 million from General Fund back to the Utility Fund may affect Oxnard’s Five Year Plan moving forward. 

Douglas Partello, Founder, Oxnard Grassroots Volunteers, Retired Neonatal Respiratory Therapist, Community Activist

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Lillith Hobbs
Lillith Hobbs
5 months ago

Who edits these articles? It’s a mess!

Citizen Reporter
5 months ago
Reply to  Lillith Hobbs

For third party articles, hardly anyone, if it’s relatively comprehensible and without fatal grammatical errors. This one meets that. It has valuable info therein that is more valuable in the hands of readers now than waiting for helpers who may never show up. We are a volunteer operation, shorthanded at the moment. Would you like to help? If so, contact our overworked [email protected]. Or donate, so we could pay someone to do it. Thanks.

Douglas D Partello
Douglas D Partello
5 months ago
Reply to  Lillith Hobbs

Please share your critiques of the article. Perhaps I can learn something here.