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Ventura Contributes to Homeless Shelter

September 13, 2000|STACY BROWN

The drive to establish a regional homeless shelter received a boost Tuesday when Ventura officials voted to give Oxnard $55,950 to open a facility this winter.

The Ventura City Council voted 7 to 0 to award the funds to Oxnard and vowed to run the shelter from Ventura next year. Port Hueneme and Camarillo, where officials had opposed hosting a shelter, have also contributed.

"This is a big step to help feed and house the county's homeless population," Oxnard Housing Director Sal Gonzalez said. "The cities in the county are now working together to help."

The shelter will open in Oxnard in December; Ventura will have the shelter next year. Officials said they hoped to find a permanent solution thereafter.

For two years, the county and other agencies operated a winter shelter at the Oxnard National Guard Armory. But last year, Oxnard was forced to open a regional shelter when Ventura officials said they couldn't provide one, city officials said.

The shelter housed more than 750 people, about 400 of whom were from Oxnard.

Program manager Mike Ewens said the shelter was filled to capacity during the winter.

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