Help Ventura house our Homeless Residents! Write City Council to acquire State funds to address our Shelter Crisis & attend the Council Meeting on 9/24

First things first. Familiarize yourself with the issues, myths, and solutions in the pipeline regarding our homeless brothers and sisters in Ventura.

On Monday, Sept 24, our City Council will be deciding whether or not to ask for State funds by declaring Ventura as having a Shelter Crisis. 

The City Council will be voting on the decision to declare a local emergency shelter crisis to be eligible to access California Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funding.

In order to receive these State funds, Ventura must have an official Shelter Crisis declaration for this funding to be utilized within our city. Funds are anticipated to be released by year-end 2018 and in an amount significant to really make a difference to our most vulnerable residents.

Action #1: Email our City Council (addresses below)

Talking points for emails (be sure to make it your own!):

-As a voter and concerned citizen in Ventura, I’d like your commitment to declare a Shelter Crisis to be eligible to receive California Homeless Emergency Aid Program funding.

-State funds are being allotted by year-end to help our most vulnerable residents and, in addition to the funds earmarked by the Council in June, I feel strongly that, we, as a city can make great strides in addressing homelessness in our city

-Funding will go toward homelessness prevention, emergency housing vouchers, rapid rehousing, and navigation centers.

-In addition,

California’s Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. and the members of the California Legislature have recognized the urgent and immediate need for funding at the local level to combat homelessness

Facts about homelessness in Ventura to round out your emails (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.

Contact:
Mayor Neal Andrews: nandrews@cityofventura.ca.gov
Deputy Mayor Matt LaVere: mlavere@cityofventura.ca.gov
Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann: cheitmann@cityofventura.ca.gov
Councilmember James Monahan: jmonahan@cityofventura.ca.gov
Councilmember Erik Nasarenko: enasarenko@cityofventura.ca.gov
Councilmember Mike Tracy: mike.tracy@cityofventura.ca.gov
Councilmember Christy Weir: cweir@cityofventura.ca.gov

Or copy/paste this whole string to email them all at once:  nandrews@cityofventura.ca.gov, mlavere@cityofventura.ca.gov, cheitmann@cityofventura.ca.gov, jmonahan@cityofventura.ca.gov, enasarenko@cityofventura.ca.gov, mike.tracy@cityofventura.ca.gov, cweir@cityofventura.ca.gov

Feeling fiesty? Light up the phone line! 805-654-7827

Action #2 – Show up at the Monday, September 24 Council Meeting to support this important cause!

6 pm (arrive early to get a seat!) at 501 Poli Street (At the top of California Street, downtown). Parking is around back and use the door at the rear of the building. Signs will be provided to all who come.

Reading:
Familiarize yourself with the issues, myths, and solutions in the pipeline regarding our homeless brothers and sisters in Ventura.

2018 State of Homelessness in Ventura County. This is an annual, easy-to-read overview put together by the Ventura County Continuum of Care AllianceRead it. It’s enlightening.

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.

 

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