Oxnard Warming Shelter Plan has been Finalized

The cities of Oxnard and Ventura, together with the County of Ventura, have finalized an agreement for the operation of a Winter Warming Shelter (WWS) for the winter of 2017-18.  The agreement, contingent upon allocation of funding by each entity’s legislative body, provides for the Ventura National Guard Armory to be the site for the Western Ventura County WWS, with a projected opening date of December 15, 2017. 

The WWS, which has been jointly operated by the two cities since 2001, provides a safe place to sleep, a hot meal, and shower facilities for homeless persons seeking refuge during the winter months.  Last winter, an average of 93 persons per night stayed at the Oxnard National Guard Armory, which has hosted the WWS for the past three years.  Homeless persons can enter the Armory at 6:00 p.m. every evening.  The WWS team is currently in talks with the California Military Department to seek authorization for the shelter residents to remain in the Armory later than the 6:00 a.m. time which has historically been the time when the Armory must be vacated every day.

The Oxnard Housing Department and the City of Ventura Community Development Department, together with the office of the County CEO, are once again partnering with  the non-profit Downtown Ventura Organization (DVO), which will act as fiscal agent and will retain ATTI, a shelter management and security firm to operate the shelter.  “We anticipate obtaining funding commitments from the two cities and the County sufficient to remain open into early March of 2018,” said Oxnard Housing Director Arturo Casillas. “As is the case every year, we will be turning to the community to help fill the funding gap to be able to stay open through the end of March and to fund extended hours if possible.”

Oxnard and Ventura will be providing training sessions for individuals who wish to volunteer at the WWS. The four-hour trainings will be offered on Saturday, December 2, 10:00 a.m. (River Community Church, 859 E. Santa Clara Street, Ventura); Thursday, December 7, 4:00 p.m. (Mission Church, 2875 Elba Street, Ventura), and Saturday, December 9, 10:00 a.m. (Oxnard Public Library).  Volunteers are asked to register via [email protected]. For more information on volunteering, contact Oxnard Homeless Division staff members Karl Lawson (385-8095; karl.lawson[email protected]) or Mark Alvarado (385-8044, [email protected]).  Monetary donations can be directed to the DVO website (downtownventura.org) or call 805-641-1090.  

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