City of Ventura launches winter weather response plan to help homeless 

As Ventura enters this year’s winter weather season, the City has partnered with the River Community Church to launch a response plan to provide stay warm packs and temporary shelter to homeless persons during severe weather events, such as severe rain, wind or low temperatures.

Now through March 31, 2021, the City is accepting community donations to create stay warm packs for sharing with Ventura’s unhoused individuals during harsh weather events. Desired donations include rain ponchos, blankets, jackets, hand-warmers, socks, toiletries, snacks, tarps, and carrying bags for items.

“When serious winter weather is forecasted to impact our community, the City will work with local social service partners, the Downtown Ventura Ambassadors, and other local non-profits to provide outreach and support to our most vulnerable population,” said Meredith Hart, the City’s Safe and Clean Program Manager.

Residents wishing to donate items for the Stay Warm Packs can bring materials to the ARCH, a homeless shelter in the City of Ventura, located at 2323 Knoll Drive. Donations can be brought to the rear of the building and dropped off near the exterior sliding glass door.  Monetary donations are also being accepted by mail through the River Community Church. Checks should be labeled “Winter Weather Response Plan” and mailed to 859 E. Santa Clara Street, Ventura, CA, 93001.

The City’s winter weather response plan also includes an emergency temporary shelter that can accommodate motel rooms for up to 20 individuals. Shelters will be activated at least 48 hours in advance when temperatures are projected to fall below 40 degrees or if weather projections show more than half an inch of rain overnight.

Priority will be given to homeless individuals who are 65 and older or live with chronic health conditions. All remaining motel rooms will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Individuals who receive a room must arrive at the River Community Church, located at 859 E. Santa Clara Street in Ventura, between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on the day of the winter weather response plan event. Those who are unable to secure a room will be provided with Stay Warm Packs.

The winter weather response plan will run from December 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.

To learn more about the winter weather response plan, please visit the City of Ventura’s Safe and Clean Program website or contact Meredith Hart, Safe and Clean Program Manager, at mhart@cityofventura.ca.gov.

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