The County of Ventura, with guidance from the California Department of Public Health, has been taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable populations in the community. The County has secured housing options at local motels in the cities of Ventura, Oxnard and Newbury Park. County agencies are coordinating to provide transportation, medical and mental health care, nutritional needs and on-site security. Referrals are made by community homeless service providers including nonprofit organizations, county service providers, city partners and homeless liaison officers. Persons are medically evaluated before they are cleared for intake.
“We are trying to place persons in a location near their home community whenever possible and commit to helping individuals reconnect with that community when it is safe to do so,” said Tara Carruth, Program Manager with the Ventura County Continuum of Care. “Facilities of at-risk individuals are supported by the Human Services Agency as the site lead, meals are provided and there is 24/7 security on-site. Our County Health Care Agency partners including Whole Person Care and the Healthcare for the Homeless and Back Pack Medicine team are also assisting to support these efforts. We are encouraging nonprofit partners and other community partners to also support their clients if placed in these locations while practicing safe social distancing,” she added.
The Backpack Medicine team is providing rapid response in the community to encampments and other unsheltered locations for anyone who may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The Backpack Medicine team may be reached at 805-515-6940 between the hours of 8 am -5 pm, Monday – Friday.
Homeless Services are considered essential services. Persons wanting to seek connection to a service provider may call 2-1-1 for linkage to programs and services.