Last night, Monday, June 18, our City Council voted to fund a 24-hour, year-round shelter in front of a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters!
We heard from a long-term homeless advocate who’s been working for decades for this night.
We heard from a man who’d experienced homelessness firsthand.
We listened to well-spoken youth leaders, teachers and people who had voted for Measure ‘O’ and had been waiting for this promise to be kept.
After a short discussion, the Ventura City Council allotted $300,000 in Measure O funds from last year as well as an additional $300,000 for 2018. Zoning for a shelter was put into place last year and the council agreed with advocates that a site would be chosen by the end of this year. THIS IS HUGE.
This would enable our homeless residents to be surrounded with services and given the chance to gain a foothold in their lives. A year-round shelter is supported by our police, business owners and homeless advocates alike.
In a time when it seems like our federal government appears capricious and cruel, last night’s compassionate conclusion, ending in applause, both reminds us how important our civic participation really is and that even the actions of our local government have the power to save lives.
Take a moment to email “Thank you” notes to our City Council!
Talking points for emails (be sure to make it your own!):
-As a voter and concerned citizen in Ventura, I’d like to thank you for your commitment to $600,000 in Measure O funds to acquire a year-round shelter, as well as committing ongoing funding from Measure O to support the City’s share of the operational costs of the year-round shelter. I look forward to thanking you personally at the opening ceremony.
Mayor Neal Andrews: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Mayor Matt LaVere: email@example.com
Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember James Monahan: email@example.com
Councilmember Erik Nasarenko: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Mike Tracy: email@example.com
Councilmember Christy Weir: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or copy/paste this whole string to email them all at once: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Facts about being homeless in Ventura.
Share with those who need a little more information…
- Facts about homelessness in Ventura (there are more here, with links and details):
- Over 90% of our homeless are “homegrown.” THEY ARE OURS. Nobody should be homeless in Ventura.
- There are people on the streets right now that lost their homes in the Thomas Fire.
- One of the fastest growing demographics are people over 65.More info:
This video, honestly, floored us. In her own words, this brave woman gives a first-hand account of what life is like living on the streets of Ventura. A former school teacher and homeowner who, through a series of sad events, found herself homeless and recounts her struggle to find a home and the obstacles in her way her journey (“As a homeless person, just your existence is illegal in the city of Ventura”) :
- Here’s a recent article that should be read, as well: LIFE CUT SHORT: Local homeless services still lacking in helping those in need.