For the second time in two weeks, supporters of a proposed low-cost housing complex for the mentally ill asked the Board of Supervisors to contribute to the project.
About 30 representatives of two organizations attended the supervisors meeting to urge the board to provide $600,000, which would be the county's share of the proposed $4.5-million project next to Camarillo State Hospital.
"We'll be here every week until the matter is resolved," said Ruby Pool, president of Families, Friends and Advocates for the Mentally Ill.
Pool, who said her 37-year-old son has been manic-depressive since he was injured in an auto accident in 1972, told the supervisors that permanent housing for the mentally ill and their families is almost nonexistent in the county.
Patients who have been hospitalized with mental disorders are "released to the street and placed in temporary housing with little outlook for the future," she said.
The project, to be located on state hospital property on Lewis Road, would have 50 three-bedroom condominiums that could house 150 people. The county's share would pay for a community center that would include an office for county mental health workers.
Patricia Sandwall, president of the Ventura branch of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, said in an interview: "There's a real sense of urgency about this. If the county doesn't provide its share, we could lose the whole project. That would be a terrible blow to the mentally ill, many of whom are homeless."
Supervisor John K. Flynn, the board's most active backer of the project, said after the meeting that he is optimistic the supervisors will at least declare their intention to set aside the money, which must be provided before the federal government will agree to pay the balance of the cost.
Supervisors Madge L. Schaefer and Maggie H. Erickson argued last week that the $600,000 should not be awarded until it is balanced against other items at forthcoming budget hearings.