Welcome to the Ventura Social Services Task Force, "Dedicated to
Ending Homelessness in the City of Ventura"! (See "About
Us" for more details.) The Ventura Social Service Task Force (VSSTF) is the one
organization recognized by Ventura County, and tasked by the City
Council of the City of Ventura, to end homelessness in the City of
Ventura, according to the
Strategy to End Homelessness for Ventura County".
Ventura's VSSTF is an inclusive, volunteer organization.
Everyone in our community is invited to join us around the table to
craft the actions moving us to the day when "Everyone Has a Place".
We meet every 1st
Wednesday of the month from 3:00-5:00 PM, at Family to Family, 303 N Ventura
Ventura Social Services Task Force (VSSTF) Granting Program - 2013
The Ventura Social Services Task Force is taking applications for
the 2013 Granting Program through May 16, 2013. The Program’s
total award funding is $70,000 per year which will be awarded on a
competitive basis through a simplified application process. The
maximum grant award per project is $15,000.
The funds are an annual grant from the City of Ventura General
Fund, and are re-granted by the VSSTF. The City of Ventura has
been providing small grants, albeit utilizing various granting
processes, to target specific issues associated with homelessness.
In 2007 the City removed itself from the granting process, and
delegated that authority on its behalf to the VSSTF.
The VSSTF granting program is specifically designed to support
organizations that implement activities associated with the
10-Year Strategy to END HOMELESSNESS in Ventura County (VCHHC.org).
Transitional Housing – including non-traditional models
Permanent Affordable Housing
Case management and other supportive services
Administrative support for VSSTF
The program is open to qualifying nonprofit organizations that
provide services to the residents of Ventura. All organizations
will be required to provide proof of their tax-exempt status under
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
grant application is available by clicking here
Applications are due May 16, 2013 at 5:00pm Ventura City Hall, 501
Poli Street, Room 218. Questions about the granting program may be
referred to Peter Brown, Community Services Manager – 658.4707 or
Click to view an excellent website that does a good job of
putting the person at the
in the shoes of a newly homeless individual. Very interesting -
EL PATIO VACANCIES UPDATE:
We currently have NO waitlist and upcoming vacancies at our
single-room occupancy hotel in Ventura. Rent is either $450 or
$600 depending on income, and a deposit of $550 is required. If
you know of anyone who may be interested, please have him/her
complete and submit the attached application, with the requested
documents and the $25 background check fee. If you have questions
about the property, please feel free to contact me or the on-site
manager for the El Patio, Michel Colmache, at
Here is the
here is the flyer.
A Safe and Clean Ventura River |
Frequently Asked Questions
Click to view
documentary shot summer 2012 (YouTube)
What is happening in
the Ventura River?
Illegal camps in the Ventura River will be dismantled to remove
debris, prevent permanent camp build-up, and create a safer and
cleaner environment for everyone. In addition, property owners
will clear invasive arundo to reduce fire hazards and impede the
reestablishment of encampments.
Why is this
happening and why now?
It is both illegal and dangerous to camp in the Ventura River.
Crime, drug use and brush fires are widespread in this area. The
river flow is dangerous during winter rains and has claimed lives;
public safety personnel have rescued several homeless people from
the rising water in the past at significant risk and expense.
Trash and waste generated primarily by illegal encampments is
accumulating at an alarming rate. Illegal camps degrade river and
beach water quality with bacteria, nitrates, nutrients and trash.
Stringent regulations to protect public health and the environment
include legal mandates that result in penalties for noncompliance.
Owners of the property in the Ventura River have been mowing the
arundo (invasive non-native plant species) that grows in the
river. The clearing of the arundo must be done in late
summer/fall for environmental reasons, and the upcoming winter
rains make this the appropriate season to remove debris and
When will the
illegal camp removal begin?
Illegal camps that are not located in the Ventura River are
already removed on a regular basis. Efforts to clear the illegal
camps in the Ventura River are scheduled to begin this summer and
continue on an on-going basis.
How will the
clearing take place and how will this affect me?
The Ventura County Human Services Agency, in coordination with
local non-profits, has already begun outreach efforts to assist
people living in the river bottom; campers that remain are being
notified of the changes. Permanent “No Trespassing” signs are
posted in the river and formal trespass noticing will begin to be
posted on all the camps in August, giving campers 72-hour notice
to vacate the Ventura River. Social service providers will be
available during illegal encampment removal for humanitarian
assistance. The community and surrounding area may be affected by
the shift that could occur from the removal of illegal
encampments. These conditions may be intermittent, short-term or
During the trash and arundo removal from the river bed, the County
and social service providers have made every effort to be
sensitive to the needs of those who are camping there and who may
not be aware of resources to help them end their homelessness.
Social service providers seek to assist individuals to find
appropriate housing in Ventura, or unite them with family or
friends if they desire, and get them the medical attention and
other services they need
to mitigate the impact on our community. While it is not illegal
to be homeless, it is illegal to camp on public or private
property without written permission.
Who will dismantle
the illegal camps?
City and County staff or contractors, volunteers, and property
owners will remove the illegal camps on an on-going basis.
Where will the
people who live in the river bottom go?
How and where an individual resides is a matter of personal
choice. Local agencies and organizations that work with the
homeless population strive to provide assistance within the
limited resources that are available. County agencies do not make
value judgments on who deserves public assistance. Providers such
as The Salvation Army and Turning Point Foundation endeavor to
allocate assistance-based resources to individuals that are
willing to address barriers of self-sufficiency (most often those
are either addictions or mental illness or both).
How will the removal
of illegal camps be sustained or reinforced?
Regular patrols of the river will occur. The complete and total
closure of the Ventura River at all times is not feasible. The
goal of this operation is to eliminate and prevent built and
entrenched homeless camps in the Ventura River.
Who made the
decision to remove the camps?
San Buenaventura Municipal Code Section 10.150.50 prohibits
sleeping, camping or storing of personal property in the Ventura
or Santa Clara or Flood Plain Overlay Zone. The current existence
of illegal camps in these areas indicates that this ordinance has
not been enforced.
Who owns the
property in and around the Ventura River?
There are 21 parcels and 9 property owners of the Ventura River
area. The owners are a mix of City, County, State, private and
What can I do to
Support local charities (see list below)
that provide meals, medical attention, case management and housing
services to get people focused on long-term solutions. Reducing
homelessness also requires all of us to say, “No,” to panhandlers,
and yes to charities. Residents can also volunteer for programs
and initiatives that keep our community Safe and Clean by signing
up for service opportunities through Volunteer Ventura! at
for the Regular Meeting -
Agenda for the
Regular Meeting – May 1, 2013
Based on attending at least 3 of the last 5 meetings the following
29 people are eligible to
Neal Aldrews, Fred Brady, Jerry Breiner, Sue Brinkmeyer, Peter
Brown, Cindy Cantle,
Kevin Clerici, David Deutsch, Pat Esseff, Ken Finning, Jill
Forman, Sal Gonzalez, Tim
Hawkins, John Jones, Amy Luoma, John Luttrull, Donna Mason-Luttrull,
Kate Mills, Rob
Orth, Kathy Powell, Amanda Pyper, Clyde Reynolds, Debora
Schreiber, Karol Schulkin,
Michele Surber, Kristen Tippelt, Sid Ward, Daniel Zapata
Introductions and Announcements (5 min)
Brief self-Introductions (name and affiliation) (5 min)
II. Subcommittees and Other Reports
Note: All past and present VSSTF and subcommittee minutes and
are posted on our website at www.vsstf.org. From the home page
on MINUTES for all general meeting minutes, agendas and associated
documents. For subcommittee minutes, click on COMMITTEES and then
choose the appropriate committee to search for. All minutes,
associated documents for each committee now rests on that
Reminder to all subcommittee chairs to send agenda to Jerry
(email@example.com) as pdf so that they can be posted on
A. Updates from City (Peter Brown) (20 minutes)
B. Report from the VSSTF Faith Community Subcommittee (Sue
Brinkmeyer) (5 min) The Faith Community Subcommittee meets the 4th
of every month at the Uniitarian Universalist Church, 5654
Ralston, Ventura from 3-5
PM. – Next meeting is May 22.
C. Report from the Homeless Prevention Subcommittee (Debora
Schreiber or Jill Forman) (5 min) The Homeless Prevention
the 3rd Wednesday of every month at Catholic Charities, 303 N.
Ventura Ave. - Next
meeting is May 15 at 12:30 p.m.. (note change in meeting time).
D. Report from the Housing Options Subcommittee (Susan Everett )
min) The Housing Options Subcommittee meets every 2nd Wednesday at
4:00 PM at
the Housing Authority, 995 Riverside Street -- next meeting is May
E. Report from H2H Community Solutions (5 min) (Rob Orth)
F. Report from the Coordinated Assessment/Intake Committee (10
min) (Clyde Reynolds)
G. Report from the VSSTF Steering Committee (Sue Brinkmeyer) (10
April 23 Board of Supervisors’ Homeshare recognition, Harbor
Meeting April 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm in the Community Meeting Room at
Black and White Dinner $1025 and & Nami Walk $350; Thanks to Kathy
Forman, Debora Schreiber, Neal Andrews, John Sanders Jones, and
Kent and Sue
Brinkmeyer for VHPF booths at EcoFest April 20 and at Paint
Ventura April 27th
($93.08 for VHPF), Report from National Alliance to end
2011 and 2012, the number of people experiencing homelessness
remained essentially flat despite a stagnant economy, declining
just 0.4 percent.
Homelessness among veterans, however, declined 7.2 percent, and
among chronically homeless individuals declined 6.8 percent
federal investments in initiatives to prevent and end
III. Business (10 min)
A. "One Stop" Status (Kate Mills)
B. Family to Family (Donna Mason-Lutrull)
C. Home Share; Annual Report (Ken Finning/Susan Everett)
D. Results of client survey at Harbor Church (Kathy Powell)
IV. Networking - your events, fundraisers, position openings, etc.
A. Position available for a Live-In (On call) Night Assistant at
the El Patio Hotel - a
single room occupancy affordable housing property in downtown
Ventura - contact
Kristen Tippelt <KristenT@pshhc.org>
B. May 4 - Nami Walk: Changing Minds --- One Step at a Time,
Promenade at California St; check in 9 a.m.; walk begins at 10:30
C. May 16, 2013 at 5:00pm - VSSTF Granting Program Applications
are due at
Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli Street, Room 218.
D. May 19, cocktails and silent auction 4 pm; dinner 5:30 pm - 7th
Honoring Champions of Mental Health; Four Points by Sheraton;
black tie optional;
E. Ventura County Community Foundation 25th Anniversary Community
June 12, from 12-2 p.m.
F. July 4th street fair - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
G. July 20/21 Bowl Hop - purchase a hand-crafted bowl made by
local artist and
sample local cuisine; proceeds go to Project’s food pantry.
H. November 9, 6 p.m. to midnight - Black and White Dinner at
Oxnard Performing Arts
V. Next (1st Wednesday) Meeting
Our next regular (1st Wednesday) meeting is 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Wednesday – June 5 ,
2013 at Family to Family, 303 N Ventura Ave # E, Ventura CA 93001.