The Ventura County Homeless and Housing Coalition (www.vchhc.org) coordinated a count of homeless individuals in Ventura County in February 2011.
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 2011 report, the Coalition counted 1,872 homeless individuals, keeping in mind that the count understated the actual number due to the complexities involved. This was 3% higher than the prior year tally of 1,815. In 2009 the count was 2,193. Here are some details from the latest count:
- 88% were adults and 12% were children
- 6% of the adults counted were 62 or older
- 68% of the adults were men and 32% were women
- 157 families were counted, consisting of 396 people
Of the 1,872 reported homeless, 1427 answered the question of what city they slept in last night; 528 were in Oxnard, 445 were in Ventura, 178 in Simi Valley, 69 in unincorporated areas, 65 in Thousand Oaks, 45 in Santa Paula, 30 in Camarillo, 26 in Ojai, 15 in Port Hueneme, 9 in Fillmore, 6 in Moorpark and 11 in other cities.
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.
* 2011 Poverty Guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services is $10,890 for a 1 person family, $14,710 for 2, $18,530 for 3, $22,350 for 4 and so on.