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TES Update: The cities of Oxnard and Ventura and the County of Ventura collectively appropriated nearly $600,000 for the purpose of operating a 24-Hour Temporary Emergency Shelter, for up to five months, at the former National Guard Armory. As we have previously advised, no entities submitted bids to serve as operator of that TES. Faced with the possibility of having no shelter at all, it was agreed two weeks ago that the City of Oxnard would staff up and operate the TES ourselves. This necessitates recruitment and hiring of a shelter manager and sufficient personnel to be able to staff the facility round m the moment it opens - 168 hours per week, which breaks down to 21 eight hour shifts with anywhere from 3 to 7 employees on duty each shift. That's a tall order, and we are working strenuously to make it happen.

Recruitment began on November 21, and on December 11, Oxnard's City Council formally approved the establishment of five new job classifications: Shelter Manager; Shelter Supervisor; Shelter Monitor; Intake Worker; and Navigator. The very next day, a panel began interviewing candidates for the Shelter Manager and Supervisor positions, and the interview and hiring process continues (by the way, people can still apply). Offers of employment have been extended and it is anticipated that some staff will be on board within a couple of weeks. Staff cannot begin work until required government background checks have been returned, and the City's Human Resources Department is working diligently to obtain those.  At this time it is not possible to predict when we will have a full complement of personnel to enable us to open the doors of the 24-hour TES.

Meanwhile, the City of Oxnard Housing Department and Public Works personnel have been working diligently to prepare the facility (special thanks to Mark Alvarado, Fredi Contreras, Gabriel Diaz, and Art Gutierrez), while our fiscal agent, the Downtown Ventura Organization, under the leadership of Kevin Clerici, has been procuring needed supplies and service contracts. Painting, repairs, and wiring for internet are proceeding at the building, and one large side room has been painted and is being furnished and equipped as separate space to serve families with children. We are getting the place ready!  

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR FOUL-WEATHER SHELTER: While the cities of Oxnard and Ventura, County staff, and the DVO work diligently to assemble the team and prepare the operation as a TES, we are faced with the reality that Mother Nature may not wait for us to be 100% ready. This week, our multi-jurisdictional sheltering team met with the County Executive Office leadership and Human Services Director Barry Zimmerman and his staff to map out a contingency plan to activate the Foul-Weather Shelter operations, in the event that a public health and safety emergency is determined to exist (due to a major storm or severe cold weather). In the event of such weather, both Ventura and Oxnard have committed to providing places where our homeless community can be safe from the elements at night. However, even nighttime-only shelters with minimal amenities and services requires management, supervision, security, and volunteers.  If your organization or congregation can provide such a place - even if just for a few people -- please contact your city immediately,  

Because of the possibility that weather will require the activation of the two or more FWS facilities before the 24-hour TES is fully staffed and open, it will be necessary to rely on community volunteers in order to open such shelters  (working together with whatever staff is hired by then). Weather being what it is, we may have very little advance notice of when we need to open foul-weather shelters. So we are asking people to sign up to volunteer for evening and overnight shifts to help at any foul-weather shelters which are established. We are asking anyone who is willing to place your name on a list of potential volunteers to please send the following information to the two e-mail addresses below so we can assemble a roster.  Please don't hit "Reply All" - please just send to these two addresses, with the Subject Line as indicated:

TO: mark.alvarado@oxnard.org  (for Oxnard) or mhart@cityofventura.ca.gov  (ventura)   

Information needed: Your name; e-mail address, best telephone number to reach you at; hours/shifts/dates you would be willing to volunteer at a shelter. Please help us spread the word by disseminating this to anyone who you think might be interested. Thank you very much!

All staff and volunteers are required to have a TB test in order to volunteer when the shelter opens, for the safety of all.  This Friday, January 4th, the Ventura County Public Health department is providing TB tests for those who will be volunteering at the Oxnard shelter.  Testing will be done at the Public Health Clinic at 2500 South C Street (are the north end of the Centerpoint Mall, behind the grocery store).

To make an appointment for a test, call 805-385-9451, and tell them that you will be working at the Oxnard shelter.  There is no charge. (Please note that you do NOT need a completed TB test to volunteer at this Saturday morning's Armory painting party and set-up event).

Agenda for the Most Recent Regular Meeting

draft minutes to be approved

  • Agenda   1/2/19  Ventura Social Service Task Force (VSSTF)   3:15 pm, Catholic Charities Building 303 N Ventura Ave 93001

    I.            Call to order and Welcome (Judy Alexandre)

    II.            Introductions (name, affiliation, and 1 question  or comment that you have re sheltering until the year round shelter is open; remember 1 sentence, no paragraphs)

    III.          Approval of and changes s to the minutes of 11/7/18 as emailed

    IV.          Approval of or changes to the agenda of 1/2/19 as emailed

    V.            Treasurers repot (Dave Schmutte)

    VI.         Essential reports and discussion:

    a)       Update on the 24/7 year round shelter (Jeff Lambert, City of Ventura, representative from the COC

    b)      Update on the emergency foul weather shelter (Jeff, Jim Duran, River Community church, Judy Alexandre) motel vouchers (UU Church and County HSA.

    c)       Inclusionary Housing update (Claudia Armann, Karen Flock, Kate Mills)

    d)      Follow up with meetings with new city council members (Judy, Jerry Breiner, Claudia, Dana Worsnap, Karen Flock)

    e)      Current Housing bills (Sonja Flores with input from the COC and anyone else)

    VII.        Brief update on follow up re COC application for Bombas and Hanes socks, blanket collection, work with thrift shop for vouchers and clothing receipts

    VIII.       Election of Chair/Co-Chair       Please send me your name if you might be interested in serving as chair or co-chair to me ASAAP

    IX.          Other Reports:

    a)       Faith subcommittee of VSSTF (Marianne Norton)

    b)      City of Ventura  Jeff Lambert (City of Ventura)

    c)       Homeless Prevention Fund (Brian Brennan)

    d)      Point in Time count (Jenn Harkey COC)

    X.          Agency reports; program changes, updates…would love to hear from City Center and from Community Action since we did not meet last month) all agencies with a brief update are welcome to share. Time is our only factor this month

    XI.         Items for 2019: General plan update. Housing, shelter strategies

    Next meeting: Feb. 6, 3:15 Catholic charities building

City of Ventura Housing Committee - TBD 4:00pm @ City Hall
Housing Engagement / Sheltering - temporarily not meeting
Faith Community - meets 4th Wednesday 3:00PM @ Seventh Day Adventist Church
Homeless Prevention - meets 3rd Thursday 4:00pm @ location TBD
Homes for All - meets by invitation only via John Jones

The mission of the Ventura Social Services Task force (VSSTF) is to create and implement an integrated community strategy to end homelessness in the City of Ventura. The goals of the VSSTF include

1. involving a broad cross section of the community, including representatives from elected officials, governmental agencies and departments, law enforcement, businesses, social service agencies, charitable foundations, faith-based organizations, community groups, pubic and private housing developers, homeless individuals and concerned citizens;

2. developing a common understanding of the root causes and circumstances of homelessness, how persons are affected, and the impact of homelessness on the community;

3. identifying current best practices to end homelessness;

4. developing and/or adopting strategic initiatives that identify measurable
objectives, timelines, responsibilities, budgets and sources of resources,
including funds.

Ventura's VSSTF is an inclusive, all-volunteer organization.  Everyone in our community is invited to join us around the table to craft the actions moving us to the day when "Everyone Has a Place".

We meet every 1st Wednesday of the month from 3:15-5:15 PM, at Family to Family, 303 N Ventura Ave

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