During the last week of January 2010, the Ventura County Homeless and Housing Coalition (www.vchhc.org) coordinated a count of homeless individuals in Ventura County.
A person was considered homeless in the survey if he/she fell within the Department of Housing and Urban Development definition, residing in 1) places not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks and abandoned buildings, 2) in an emergency shelter or 3) in transitional housing for homeless persons.
In its April 2010 report, the Coalition counted 1,815 homeless individuals, keeping in mind that the count understated the actual number due to the complexities involved. The count in 2009 was 2,193 and the previous count in 2007 was 1,961. Here are some details from the latest count:
- 88% were adults and 12% were children
- 5% of the adults counted were 62 or older
- 67% of the adults were men and 33% were women
- 117 families were counted, the majority (74%) of which were single-parent families
Of the 1,815 reported homeless, 601 were in Ventura, 520 in Oxnard, 229 in Simi Valley, 223 in unincorporated areas, 106 in Thousand Oaks, 54 in Santa Paula, 52 in Ojai, 15 in Camarillo, 9 in Port Hueneme, 5 in Fillmore and 1 in Moorpark.
The Coalition noted this count does not include people at risk of becoming homeless. In 2000, there were 42,000 households, consisting of about 130,000 people (20% of Ventura County at that time) whose households earned less than $25,000 per year. Additionally, 8%, or close to 64,000 Ventura County residents, were living below the poverty level*.
If you encounter someone in need, refer them to this list of Ventura County homeless shelters and hot meal providers.
* 2010 Poverty Guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services is $10,830 for a 1 person family, $14,570 for 2, $18,310 for 3, $22,050 for 4 and so on.