Conejo Valley Meal and Shelter Program Providers


The following Conejo Valley locations take part in a program that provides year-round meals on designated nights of the week to individuals who are in need.  And from December to March, both dinner (6:30 pm) and overnight shelter is offered.

This information is current as of May 2018. Subject to change. Call in advance to confirm.


Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

1 W. Avenida de los Arboles, Thousand Oaks (805.492.1234)

Sleeping facilities for up to 15 people during winter months. Visit for more information. Hot dinner at 6:30pm year-round.


Calvary Community Church

5495 Via Rocas, Westlake Village (818.991.8040)

Visit for more information. Dinner at 6:30pm year-round.


Westminster Presbyterian Church

32111 Watergate Rd., Westlake Village (818.889.1491)  Hot meals at 6:30pm Wednesday nights year-round.


Emmanuel Presbyterian Church

588 Camino Manzanas, Thousand Oaks (805.498.4502)

Meal site from April-November

Chinese Christian Church of Thousand Oaks

218 W. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks (805.379.0882)

Meal and overnight site from December-March


Thousand Oaks United Methodist Church

1000 E. Janss Rd, Thousand Oaks (805.495.7215)

Visit Meals at 6:30pm Friday nights year-round.


St. Julie Billiart Catholic Church

2475 Borchard Rd, Newbury Park (805.498.3602)

Meals served for up to 50 people and shelter for up to 30 during winter months. Dinner at 6:30pm on Saturday nights year-round.


St Patrick's Episcopal Church

1 Church Rd, Thousand Oaks (805.495.6441)

Meal site from April-November

Temple Adat Elohim

2420 E. Hillcrest Dr, Thousand Oaks (805.497.7101)

Meal and overnight site from December-March. Hot meal for 50 to 80 people. Overnight accommodation for 20 to 35 people.


CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Ventura County Serves Local Foster Kids


CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Ventura County is a non profit, volunteer driven organization that recruits, trains and supports volunteers from the community to become sworn-in officers of the court who provide a consistent, caring adult in a foster child's life. Children helped by CASAs include those for whom home placement is being determined in juvenile court.  Most of the children are victims of abuse and neglect.

CASA organizations have been around for over 30 years in just about every every county and state across the nation with over 70,000 volunteers serving court dependent children. CASA has been serving children in Ventura County since 1985.  We currently have a team of 130 volunteers and serve over 200 court dependent foster children.

Each hour of our CASA program staff time generates 22 volunteer hours of direct support to a child.   The CASA formula is simple: additional funding means the capacity to recruit, train and support more volunteers to be matched with a foster child.

We have 80 children on a waiting list for a CASA right now.  For those 80 kids the CASA advocate may be the one, consistent, concerned adult by their side during a tumultuous phase of  their life.

To learn how to donate time or funds to this worthy 501(c)(3) organization, visit

STTOP: Sheriff's Teen Traffic Offender Program - 877.310.STOP


STTOP is an intervention program developed by the Lost Hills/Malibu Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to educate young drivers and their parents.

The goal of STTOP is to correct reckless behavior and other bad driving practices. The program is designed to intervene when a young driver displays poor judgment or dangerous driving behavior. Aside from following up on collision reports and citations issued, STTOP encourages citizens to call in and report dangerous teen driver (or report them online at

Too many times, patrol officers are not present to see dangerous driving. The inability to catch an offender in the act ties the hands of law enforcement, which cannot act on a vehicle code infraction they do not witness. After an incident is reported to STTOP, a designated deputy sheriff will make personal contact with the offender and his or her parents in effort to correct the dangerous behavior. The goal of STTOP is not to prosecute offenders, but to make teens better, safer drivers, which in turns benefits our community.

If you see dangerous driving or reckless behavior by young drivers, report it to STTOP at 877.310.STOP (7867) or 818.880.5420.  The call may save lives.  STTOP is currently in use throughout the Conejo Valley, Agoura Hills, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Malibu, Calabasas, Ojai, Fillmore, Santa Paula, Camarillo, Oak Park and other locations.

For more information, visit

Cities and corporate sponsors have made STTOP possible. Additional donations can be made to The Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff's Booster Club (STTOP),  a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Your donations are tax deductible.

Where to Find Ventura County Emergency Updates on Thomas Fire in Ventura County

 The Thomas Fire as seen from the Conejo Valley (Photo Credit: L. David Irete).

The Thomas Fire as seen from the Conejo Valley (Photo Credit: L. David Irete).

The Thomas Fire was first reported on Monday night around 6:30 p.m. in Santa Paula, in the vicinity of Steckel Park and Thomas Aquinas College near the 150 (Ojai Road). Due to gale force Santa Ana winds, the fire spread quickly overnight to over 55,000 acres in less than 24 hours in Santa Paula, Ojai and Ventura.

As of Tuesday night, December 5, the "Thomas Fire" has burned over 150 structures, including the Hawaiian Village Apartments in Ventura

Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County today as a result of the fire. (He also issued an emergency proclamation today for the Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County.) 

Text the United Way of Ventura County at UWVC to 41444 to donate to Thomas Fire victims; 100% of the donations will go directly to those affected by the fires.

Schools have been closed Tuesday in Ventura County and on Wednesday the following schools are slated for closure due to the wildfires:

  • CSU Channel Islands
  • Nearly all K-12 schools in Ventura County, including Conejo Valley USD, Fillmore USD, Moorpark USD, Ojai USD, Pleasant Valley SD, Santa Paula USD, Ventura USD, Simi Valley USD, Oxnard Elementary and Union High School Districts and other schools listed at
  • UPDATE: The following districts will be closed the rest of the week (12/7-12/8): Briggs Elementary School District, Hueneme Elementary School District, Mesa Union Elementary SD, Mupu Elementary SD, Ocean View Elementary SD, Ojai USD, Oxnard Elementary SD, Oxnard Union HS District, Pleasant Valley SD, Rio Elementary SD, Santa Clara Elementary SD, Ventura USD.
  • UPDATE: As of 2:30PM 12/6, school is planned for Simi Valley and Conejo Valley Unified School Districts.

Here's where to go for updates:

First and foremost, visit for updates, mandatory evacuation areas, voluntary evacuations, evacuation shelters, school closures, road closures and other information.

If you are a Twitter user, the Ventura County Fire Department Public Information Officer provides periodic updates via Tweets at The VCFD Twitter page also provides updates and some useful "Retweets" from other sources at

Local area newspaper sites have Twitter and Facebook feeds that may come in handy:

Among TV news sites, I've found ABC 7 to have some great coverage

Subscribe to VC Alert, a free serviced utilized by all 10 cities in Ventura County as well as unincorporated areas for emergency updates. Text VCALERT to 313131 to register.

Cal Fire posts updates on its site at

Homeless Shelters in Ventura County Offering Hot Meals and Overnight Cots


Many of Ventura County's homeless find comfort in the warm, dry places open to them for sleeping overnight. Most shelters offer food--a hot meal for dinner, sometimes a pastry or bagel for breakfast and sack lunches for the road. Some facilities have showers. All depend on volunteers. Sometimes volunteers come forward to offer entertainment during dinner--a youth group singing, a bell choir. Or, more practical volunteers give free haircuts. Clothes and toiletries are donated.  Each shelter is an opportunity for those with compassion to help men, women and children in need.

Some people find shelter rules too hard to follow and so they live on the street even in cold, rainy weather. For instance. no pets are allowed and some do not want to be separated from their furry companions. But the rules are meant to keep the shelters safe.

Children and adults who sleep in a shelter must show proof of a recent, within 60 days, clear TB test before they will be allowed in a shelter. It's the law. Ventura County Public Health Clinics will provide free TB tests to shelter users. Anyone intoxicated or behaving in a disorderly manner will not be allowed inside any shelter site.

Some shelters, such as the one at the Oxnard Armory, require a one time intake interview and a photo taken upon entry. Shelter I.D. cards are issued.  Toiletries and a change of clothes are only allowed when brought inside in a clear plastic bag provided. There is limited, unsecured space for overnight storage of personal items.

Here is a List of Homeless Shelters available in Ventura County (courtesy of County of Ventura Human Services Agency(Info current as of November 2017 and subject to change, so call first)

Our Place Safe Haven 536 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, operated by Turning Point Foundation is open year round. Serves homeless mentally ill/single men and women with place to sleep, showers, meals, laundry facilities, mail and phone and case management. Capacity is 10. There is a waiting list. 805.652.2151

Ventura County Rescue Mission 234 E. 6th Street, Oxnard, open year round. Provides place to sleep, hot meal, shower for up to 35 single men for up to 10 consecutive nights. Check-in by 5 p.m. Call 805.487.1234.

The West County Winter Warming Shelter at the Army National Guard Armory, 1270 Arundell, Ventura is scheduled to open December 1st through March 30th. Open to families and singles. Check in 6pm, exit 6am. Capacity 125. Hot meal, place to sleep, shelter. Hot meal served 6:30pm to 7:30pm. 805.385.1800

Lighthouse Womens & Childrens Mission--Emergency Shelter 104 N. Hayes, Oxnard, operated by The Rescue Mission Alliance year round. Serves single women, mothers with children (boys up to 10 years old). Provides a place to sleep, hot meals and shower. Capacity for 24. Call 805.385.7200.

Kingdom Center (Gabriel's House) Women's Shelter at 1450 S. Rose Ave, Oxnard has a year-round shelter for up to 18 single women and women with children. Call 805.487.3445 for more info.

Simi Valley P.A.D.S. (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) has rotating meal sites year round and overnight sleep sites from November 1 to March 31. Simi Valley residents only. Families and singles. Overnight shelter sites open at 7:45 p.m. with a capacity that varies by site from 30 to 40 people.  For dinner sites and other information, call 805.579.9166 Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. only.

Overnight Simi Valley shelter locations from November through March include the following:

Dinner sites by the Samaritan Center of Simi Valley are summed up at or call 805.579.9166 for details (and for year-round meal sites).

Ojai Valley Family Shelter has rotating Church sites with 6 p.m. check in from December 1 to March 31 to serve Ojai residents only (must show 6 month proof of residency). Hot meals, a place to sleep and showers. Up to 25-30 singles and families are welcome. Call 805.804.7094.

Conejo Valley Winter Shelter locations are open from December 1 to March 31 for families first and working singles next. Each provides a place to sleep, hot meals, breakfast and a sack lunch for 25 to 30 people. Check in begins at 5:45 p.m. with dinner served at 6:30 p.m. Call 805.497.6207. Showers are available on Wednesday.  CLICK HERE for specific locations.

Mountains Restoration Trust Preserves Land in the Santa Monica Mountains

Based in Calabasas, Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) is a non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving natural land in the Santa Monica Mountains, a range traversing from Griffith Park to Point Mugu in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. through restoration, education and land acquisition. MRT was founded in 1981.

Restoration projects are a top priority for MRT. Non-native plant invasion has been occurring in the fragile ecology of the Santa Monica Mountains since early explorers arrived with mustard seeds to mark their trails. Non-native grasses, trees and plants have found a similar home far from their lands of origin, and are a threat to native plants and animals.

Non-native, invasive crayfish in Malibu Creek eat native amphibians and fish, wrecking havoc on the creek's ecosystem. Volunteers have removed over 11,000 crayfish from the creek! MRT encourages volunteers every Thursday through Saturday to help remove these crayfish. I signed up with my kids and it certainly was fun, interesting and rewarding!

 We learned how to tell a male from a female crayfish from the biologist volunteer.

We learned how to tell a male from a female crayfish from the biologist volunteer.

 After retrieving the crayfish from traps set by MRT staff, my kids helped measure their length for a long-term study.

After retrieving the crayfish from traps set by MRT staff, my kids helped measure their length for a long-term study.

The kids had a blast. Sign up to help at

In addition to restoration projects, MRT hosts nature walks, rattlesnake avoidance training, youth naturalist programs, summer camps, senior programs and more.

To learn more, visit or call 818.591.1701.

Historical and Cultural Landmark Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village in Simi Valley


Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village in Simi Valley is a California Historical Landmark, Ventura County Cultural Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bottle Village is a .3 acre lot located at 4595 Cochran Street that contains shrines, walkways, sculptures and buildings from recycled items and discards from local landfills. All of these structures were built by hand over a 25 year old period by Tressa "Grandma" Prisbrey, beginning at age 60 in 1956 until 1981. Thirteen buildings and 22 sculptures in total.


A non-profit organization, Preserve Bottle Village (PBV), was formed in 1979. The 1994 Northridge Earthquake caused extensive damage to the Bottle Village site. PBV has embarked on a campaign to develop a master plan for the restoration of significant site components. Learn how you can help and the Bottle Village Facebook page at


Grandma Prisbrey sold the property in 1972 to care for an ailing son, but came back several years later to continue building and to give tours.  She died in 1988 at the age of 92.


Upcoming docent-led tours at