About the Oxnard Navigation Center
The City of Oxnard, along with other large cities throughout the state of California, is being severely impacted by the state’s homeless crisis. Ventura County’s 2019 point-in-time homeless count identified 548 people living on the streets, in vehicles or encampments, or in shelters within the City of Oxnard. This number does not include homeless individuals staying with family and friends, which could mean an additional 2,500 homeless individuals residing in the City.
In October 2018, the City Council authorized the Oxnard Housing Authority staff to operate a temporary 24-hour homeless shelter at the former Oxnard National Guard Armory (351 South K St.). Due to the site’s location within the Oxnard Airport’s Runway Protection Zone, the shelter would not be feasible for long term use and would require staff to identify a site for a permanent homeless shelter.
In November 2019, the City Council approved a lease agreement for the City to operate a new homeless shelter located at 1258 Saviers Rd. in Oxnard. The City will close the shelter on South K St. upon the completion of the new shelter on Saviers Rd., which is expected in the fall of 2021.
As the City transitions to the new shelter located on Saviers Rd., City staff will be engaging with the public and seeking their insights regarding the design, development and operation of the Oxnard Navigation Center.
A Community Town Hall will be hosted on December 18 at 6 p.m. at the South Oxnard Center Rental Room, located at 200 E. Bard Rd., Oxnard, CA 93033. An additional Community Town Hall will be hosted in February 2020.
Navigation Center Details
The proposed Oxnard Navigation Center on Saviers Rd. will provide a 24-hour, year-round shelter with 110 beds, shower and laundry facilities, a meal program, pet accommodations, housing navigation and case management services for homeless individuals in Oxnard.
Navigation Centers are essential to reducing the unsheltered homeless population in Oxnard. The shelter offers a low-barrier, high-service program that is designed to connect homeless individuals to services and provide housing assistance.
The City of Oxnard operates the shelter with Mercy House, a nonprofit who manages operations and assists individuals with determining a path out of homelessness. The City has worked with Mercy House since June of 2019, helping to connect with homeless individuals through the shelter’s service offerings.
Addressing Safety Concerns for Navigation Center Neighbors
The City of Oxnard is committed to protecting the safety of both the Navigation Center’s guests and the neighboring community on Saviers Rd.
When the city opened its first 24-hour shelter on South K St., the site’s operator, Mercy House, contracted for a private 24-hour security service. Additionally, the Oxnard Police Department routinely patrols the shelter area, and has developed close relationships in the neighboring community.
This dedication to service and public safety will continue at the Saviers Rd. location. With the opening of the homeless Navigation Center at Saviers Rd., residents will see increased patrols and a high-priority of ensuring any concerns are addressed in a prompt manner.
Navigation Center Frequently Asked Questions
A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Oxnard Navigation Center are included below.
What is a low barrier shelter?
Low barrier shelters are designed to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness in a community. The shelter serves homeless men and women with priority for those living in Oxnard. All clients of this shelter must be eighteen years of age or older, or must be able to provide valid documentation if they are emancipated youths. All prospective clients will be screened for open felony warrants and status as a registered sex offender. If the client has open felony warrants or is a registered sex offender, they are not eligible for this program and should connect to resources with our nonprofit partners.
Who is Mercy House?
Mercy House is a nonprofit 401 (C) 3. Mercy House provides housing and comprehensive supportive services for a variety of homeless populations which includes families, adult men and women, mothers and their children, persons living with HIV and AIDS, individuals overcoming substance addictions, and some who are physically and mentally disabled.
Mercy strives to assist residents in the areas of economic, emotional, and spiritual well-being in order to enhance self-esteem and a sense of personal pride. Mercy values accountability, integrity, and self-sufficiency. The dignity of the individual person and the corresponding respect that follows is the guiding principle of Mercy House’s service to homeless individuals.
Mission Statement: To be a leader in ending homelessness by providing a unique system of dignified housing opportunities, programs, and supportive services.
Goal: To end the cycle of homelessness of those who enter Mercy’s system of care.
Will the navigation center operate with a good neighbor policy?
Mercy Housing will operate the Oxnard Navigation Center under a good neighbor policy including the provision of case managers, housing navigators, and local homeless social service agency staff to assist shelter participants. In addition, Mercy Housing will provide 24-hour security service and work to minimize negative impacts within 500 ft. of the shelter facility due to any activity conducted by shelter participants or other homeless persons.
What services will be offered on site at the navigation center?
Services include shower, laundry facilities, a meal program, pet accommodations, housing navigation, case management, linkages to medical, mental health, dental services and other supportive services as needed.
Why must the navigation center relocate from K Street?
The navigation center operation at 351 K Street intrudes within the runway protection zone of the Oxnard Airport, which may impact potential navigation center funding from the County of Ventura. Therefore, it must be re-located.
How will the County of Ventura partner with the navigation center?
The County of Ventura has pledged financial contribution for construction or tenant improvements and operations if the navigation center is re-located to a location that does not intrude in the runway protection zone. Additionally, the County of Ventura will also participate in program delivery services from the Continuum of Care, the Health Care Agency, and the Human Services Agency.
How was the Saviers Road site chosen?
The Housing Department considered twenty-one other properties, before ultimately selecting the Saviers Road site as the new location for the Oxnard Navigation Center. Housing Staff used a similar scoring system as the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee to map and score all of the sites to determine which sites scored the highest based on their close proximity to other amenities such as public transportation, urgent care facilities, homeless services, and behavioral health centers. Staff also considered the existing zoning of properties to ensure that homeless shelters were an allowable use.
Is a navigation center consistent with a Housing First policy?
A low barrier navigation center is consistent with a housing first model of homeless services because supportive services are delivered under the protection of a shelter without imposing barriers to entry into the navigation center.
What are the terms of the lease?
The initial term of the lease is for five years, it includes two additional five-year options to renew the lease, at the election of the City, and provides the City with the first right of offer to purchase the property should the owner decide to sell the property.
Other terms include a three-month rent abatement and contingency period to terminate the lease for any reason with no further obligation to the property owner and a full refund of any funds paid to the property owner at lease execution. Rent is $21,875 for the first twenty-four months and will increase by three percent annually thereafter. The City is also responsible for paying monthly utilities, property taxes, and insurance.
What security will be offered at the navigation center?
Professional security guards are contracted through a third-party vendor and receive “Homeless Sensitivity Training” through the Mercy House resources. Security will be on site at all times, stationed both inside and outside the facility to ensure maximum coverage.
If you have additional questions, please email Emilio Ramirez at email@example.com.