What can we do about Homelessness in Port Hueneme

By  Tom Dunn

Last week the Oxnard  and Port Hueneme Police Departments went to Ormond Beach to issue eviction citations to the 100+ homeless/vagrants encamped there.  This is the second time in the last year an attempt to clear out the squatters has been done.  After the first time the homeless left for various other areas of Oxnard and PH.  This May they had returned to Ormond Beach and the numbers grew from a couple dozen to 100+.  Ormond Beach is a wildlife conservatory and the homeless/vagrants have done some major damage to the area.  The majority of homeless moved to Halco,  a superfund site, for a few days but have returned to Ormond Beach.  Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard has seen an increase in homeless staying there.  

Finding a solution to this major issue is a complex situation for reasons of beds, food, medical attention, money, rehabilitation and with perhaps the major obstacle – 80% of these people do not want help due to mental issues and/or drug and/or alcohol addictions that severally effect decision making about their well being.  This has been verified by several people I have interviewed that were in this situation and know what the inner workings of the mind is when you have the above mentioned issues,  Both of these people have made it out that lifestyle and took as many as three tries to be successful and return to a normal life.  

There is a possible solution to help those that want help and a possible solution to keep control of the homeless not desiring help from spreading out in our cities and causing potential criminal problems for the residents of Oxnard and PH.  Lorenzo Castillo, owner of Exit Realty in downtown Oxnard, is opening Garden City Camp, that has 50 beds for homeless, three meals a day and services to those that want help.  The second solution is more involved for those not wanting help.  Three things need to be done 1) find a place to put this group of people 2) keep them out of public places that residents use in their daily life, parks and residential areas 3) attempt to help them change their lifestyle , most difficult..  Oxnard has a number of large areas that could be fenced off and where this group could live and with a private security firm could patrol and control.  This would also free up the Oxnard PD to have the time and officers to properly patrol all areas of the city.  I know this sounds simple and I am sure the city of Oxnard would have much to add to comply with city codes and regulations.

This coming Tuesday, Lang Martinez a homeless liaison, and several Oxnard city officials will be going out to Ormond Beach to present outreach services to those still encamped at Ormond Beach.  The above suggested solutions are not my idea but ideas put out by Lorenzo, Lang and others that I have talked to over the last month.  We all agree the problem is getting worse on a weekly basis.  Kathleen Foster, a reporter for Hueneme Voice, took a train trip from Oxnard to San Diego and said she saw homeless/vagrant encampments along the entire trip including open areas near the railroad track.  She said no city she passed through was without visible homeless activity. 

This is a problem everywhere and rapidly expanding.  We need ideas and solutions so get in touch with your local officials with ideas you think might help all of us out before it is too late and too big to deal with. 

Video by Port Hueneme Beach Photography of Ormond Beach Homeless Camp Followup Video 

Click on Image below to see Video:

Tom Dunn is the publisher of Hueneme Voice

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Seth Bonilla

Hi Tom
Please contact me regarding the homeless population in Port Hueneme. I have the perfect solution to get started on encampments and the homeless. I have met twice with the mayor personally and will be speaking at a community counsel meeting April 15th. Would appreciate contact from you. 805.407.2237