Local groups discuss year-round homeless shelter

A day after the annual homeless count in Ventura County, officials from several agencies met to discuss making the winter warming shelter at the National Guard armory in Ventura a year-roundA facility. Full Story
Theresa Hildago

United States

#1 Jan 30, 2012
While I have empathy for those who are homeless, I think an honest discussion is pertinent, especially regarding their early morning, predawn exodus from the Armory. For those of us who commute to work on the bus while it is still dark in the morning, it can be scary when strange men get upset when you decline to speak to them. Since SCAT bus lines stopped their 6b route, it is necessary to walk a mile to catch the VISTA or the SCAT bus. Maybe allowing the homeless to at least stay until the sun comes up would be a better solution, especially if the Armory really does begin operating year round in April. That way, at least a person can see the faces of the people who are persistent in wanting to interact with you. The dozens of homeless men, who pack the buses to capacity, speak of their experiences in prison, their drug buys, and taunt the women who ride along with them. Some eye pretty young women and say,'I'm going to get me a girlfriend.' His friend will reply,'I'm going to get me two.' Most of the men spend the day in Oxnard and return to the Armory
each night. This means traveling round trip with them while commuting to work. Some men approach the women they recognize, but refrain from causing any trouble. Again, I must say that if the shelter goes year round, some adjustments need to be made for the residents who live near the Armory. Of course, that's not to mention the dozens who spend the summer sleeping under the trees that line the freeways. Is it better for the residents of the homes and apartments near the Armory to have these same people living without clean water and food nearby or can the year round shelter really work - that is the question. If and when the shelter time is extended, an honest and forthright approach to management is essential.
Thank you for your time,

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