Due to its unique beach location, the City of Ventura experiences serious problems with homelessness.
The 2015 County of Ventura Homeless Count resulted in a total number of 1,417 homeless persons. In the City of Ventura, the total number of persons counted was 334.
The City is working to reduce the incidence of homelessness through a variety of efforts including the Safe and Clean Public Places Initiative that was adopted by Council in November 2011, and through collaborative housing programs.
Housing for homeless individuals requires a combination of transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and affordable housing with services that assist in addressing personal crises.
If supportive housing is not put in place, public agencies will continue to spend far more in terms of medical care, and other emergency services for the homeless families. This is particularly true for chronically homeless individuals who use emergency services.
That is why the City is currently assisting with the revision of the 10-Year Strategy to End Homelessness in Ventura County and distributing information to entities that are working to provide housing in Ventura.
Efforts to help the homeless in Ventura include:
The Homeless 2 Home Project, spearheaded by the Salvation Army, Turning Point Foundation and Project Understanding, is serving 150 homeless clients and has placed 52 of them in permanent housing.
The Safe Sleep program is quietly and successfully providing short-term accommodation for people “down on their luck” by letting about 20 carefully screened families and individuals stay in their cars in church parking lots that provide access to bathrooms and targeted help to get them back in jobs and housing.
The Downtown Ventura Organization is discreetly raising funds to help individuals or families stranded in Ventura to afford gas money or bus tickets back to their homes.
The Kingdom Center (a converted motel supported by more than 20 local churches).
River Haven is a camp which has 19 domes and can house up to 25 people. The site is located off Harbor Boulevard near Olivas Park Drive and is run by the nonprofit Turning Point Foundation.
El Patio Hotel, serves low-income residents; 16 rooms are set-aside for formerly homeless individuals referred by Ventura County Behavioral Health Department. Financing was partly provided by the City of Ventura Redevelopment Agency.
Encanto Del Mar is a 37-unit, two and three bedroom apartment building designed as affordable housing for the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura.