Volunteers Fan Out To Count Ventura County's Homeless
Life as a single homeless woman can be a perilous place, but in six years on and off the streets, Barb Noble has learned to navigate the at-times treacherous waters.
She knows the West County Winter Warming Shelter opens Dec. 1 and closes March 31, that it’s in Oxnard this year, and next year rotates back to Ventura. Noble can clean up while she’s at the seasonal shelter, but she prefers Harbor Community Church in midtown Ventura, where the showers are handicapped-friendly, she can do a load of laundry and get a hot meal.
The 58-year-old also knows the importance of being included in Ventura County’s annual count of the homeless population, which volunteers conducted Tuesday.
“You complain about food because it’s sparse, or there’s not enough blankets,” Noble said, referring to her friends’ gripes as she sat in a wheelchair at the Ventura Transit Center. “How do you think you’re going to get money for those services if you don’t stand up and get counted?”
About 300 volunteers emphasized that point Tuesday as they fanned out across the county in the hope of counting every homeless person. The one-day exercise, overseen this year by the county of Ventura, is conducted the last Tuesday in January to qualify for roughly $2 million in federal funds geared at ending homelessness. The final tally will come later.