Homelessness is on the rise in Ventura County. After almost a decade of steady decline, Ventura’s 2019 point-in-time survey counted 1,669 men, women, and children experiencing homelessness, a fifty percent increase from 2017. This trend continued into 2020, with the January point-in-time count growing by an additional 4.4% to 1,743 adults and children experiencing homelessness.
Among this population, service use is often concentrated disproportionately among a relative minority of people who face acute and persistent challenges. In 2019, Ventura County partnered with the cities of Oxnard and Ventura to engage Social Finance in better understanding the service use and resulting costs of supporting this population.
The analysis, highlighted in this interactive report, integrated data from 13 County and City departments to track homeless programs, law enforcement, healthcare and behavioral health delivery, emergency transit, and other programs.
The costs of persistent homelessness are high—not only to the County, but to the health and wellbeing of individuals experiencing homelessness as well. This analysis attempts to measure the dollars and cents associated with the status quo—with the hopes that it can inform future discussions about the most effective use of public funding to end homelessness.
Thank you to the staff and leadership in the following departments, without whom this study would not have been possible:
City of Oxnard, City of Thousand Oaks, City of Ventura, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Gold Coast Health, Mercy House Living Centers, Ventura County Whole Person Care, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Ventura County Rescue Mission, Ventura County Watershed, Ventura County Behavioral Health, Ventura County Emergency Medical Services, Ventura County Fire Department, Ventura County Human Services Agency, Ventura County Probation Agency, and Ventura County Public Defender’s Office.
Special thanks to Christy Madden, Deputy Executive Officer at County of Ventura, and Tara Carruth, Program Manager for the Ventura County Continuum of Care.
Analysis by Sean Burpoe, Shivan Sarin, Ryan Gillette, and Jake Segal of Social Finance.
Addressing Recidivism in the Golden State through Pay for Success
The Ventura County Project to Support Reentry is part of a larger ecosystem within California, with state and local foundations providing important support to governments as they drive resources to more effective solutions.