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Ventura County Focus

430 River Dwellers Accept Shelter, Help

February 03, 1998|MIGUEL BUSTILLO

As many as 430 people have taken advantage of a county program that pulls homeless people from the Ventura and Santa Clara river bottoms and provides them with shelter and services, according to a report to the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors voted in November to begin the River-dweller Aid Intercity Network (R.A.I.N.) project, and also approved funding for a cold-weather shelter for the winter months beginning Dec. 1.

Both programs are currently run out of the former Camarillo State Hospital, and are scheduled to end March 31.

A report being presented today states that the program has averaged more than 200 people each night since Dec. 1. A surprising number of them are families with children, according to the report.

"While men still predominate all phases of our population (57%), a surprising 26% of our clients are women," project director Kathy Jenks wrote in the report.

"Most staggering of all are the 73 children that made up 17% of our client base."

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