Several homeless people have escaped the storm and received shelter at a new homeless shelter in Oxnard.
Noe Estrella and her service dog Malu are taking full advantage of the new shelter located on the corner of 3rd and South K street in Oxnard.
“We are normally under a tree in a tent,” said Estrella. “This is an incredible blessing to have an actual structure and to have lighting and wi-fi for school, and to be protected by such caring staff.”
Estrella suffered a brain injury nearly five years ago which eventually led her to lose everything. The shelter, which opened its door Wednesday night, is helping her get back on her feet.
“I am a full time student at Ventura College and having stability really helps in order to do my homework and to be able to focus and to be able to relearn how to learn again,” said Estrella.
“The shelter holds 110 people. That is maximum,” said Mark Alvarado, Oxnard Homeless Assistance Coordinator. “It is a coordinated entry system so people have to be referred by a social service provider. It requires a negative TB test, there is a sexual offender background check and a criminal background check, and we also screen for extreme mental health cases.”
Alvarado is now working with the city’s first round-the-clock, seven day a week homeless facility.
“In the past they have done a winter warming shelter which is just an overnight shelter but it isn’t sustainable because you just bring people in for the night and they are back on the streets during the day. Here people can stay and get services,” said Alvarado.
The shelter provides warm bed, showers, hot meals, and social services for each individual. Pets are also allowed.
“All pets are welcomed here,” said Estrella. “They provide food, water, bedding, kennels.”
For Estrella it’s the support she needs to help get through the storm.
“We have hope that eventually we will be able to have our own place again, and I just love this place,” said Estrella.