Ventura, CA – Today, the County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a Memorandum of Understanding between the County and the City of Oxnard detailing the conceptual framework for the development and operation of a permanent Homeless Solutions Center for people experiencing homelessness.
“We appreciate our partnership with the City of Oxnard and their leadership in addressing the needs of the unsheltered in our communities,” said County Executive Officer Michael Powers. “Homelessness can happen to anyone: a job loss, a medical condition, missing a rent payment, a costly car repair; any type of crisis. There are many ways in which someone can become homeless and only one way really to solve it. Homelessness ends when everyone has a home. Providing supportive services and housing helps those in need make it home.”
The proposed plan for development of the Homeless Solutions Center at 2nd and B Streets in the city is a 5-story structure with the first floor serving as the emergency shelter with 110 beds, second floor for services and offices, and the upper three floors with 56 units of residential permanent supportive housing. The tentative timeline for the construction of this facility and relocation from the shelter’s temporary location on K Street is targeted for spring 2022 after capital funding for the full development has been secured.
“The City has been a great partner in addressing the needs of the unsheltered. They converted the temporary winter shelter into the County’s first 24-hour year-around shelter, hosted the West County shelter while the Ventura shelter was renovated and are taking a holistic approach to ending homelessness through the creation of the Homeless Solutions Center complete with shelter, services and housing,” said Senior Deputy Executive Officer Christy Madden.
The approved MOU details the framework of the shared costs for the future implementation of the shelter project. Through the MOU, the County and Oxnard are agreeing in concept to equally share in the capital costs for constructing the bottom floor or emergency shelter portion of this development project and to equally share in the ongoing costs for operation of the emergency shelter program. The MOU includes estimates of the capital expenditures and ongoing operational costs.
Based on Oxnard's initial estimates, the County's one-time cost share amount is estimated to be $2 million with an ongoing annual operating cost contribution of $1.5 million. The proposed cost sharing MOU was unanimously approved by the Oxnard City Council on March 30, 2021 as part of a comprehensive package including entering into a disposition and development agreement and approving appropriations of almost $1.6 million to move the Homeless Solutions Center forward.
The City and County will work to identify potential sources of funding, including state and federal homeless grants, to help offset the cost impacts. A final cost sharing agreement is anticipated to be finalized in 2022. The Ventura County Continuum of Care will continue to work closely with the City and the County to provide support and ensure collaboration with local homeless service providers.
The facility will be the 2nd permanent shelter in the County with a cost sharing agreement resulting from the Board’s program to stimulate homeless shelter development by sharing in the costs with cities. The first permanent shelter, a 55-bed facility, was established in partnership with the County and the City of Ventura in 2019. The Board of Supervisors has been committed to partnering with Cities to develop homeless shelters and initiatives to address the complex needs of the unsheltered in our county.