Unfortunately, for many years, homelessness in Ventura County has been a pervasive issue. The County’s moderate coastal climate and widespread social tolerance create an attractive environment for the homeless population. Enforcement efforts, when appropriate, have limited effectiveness and do little to solve some of the root causes of homelessness – mental illness and chronic drug and alcohol abuse.
I believe we need to continue to expand existing collaborative strategies to reduce homelessness. Social services, health care, education, community development, law enforcement, and others must work together to reduce drug and alcohol abuse in our community and provide flexible, creative, and adaptive transitional support for those willing to leave homelessness behind. I believe a community resolved to solving complex problems, such as homelessness, can accomplish anything, and I am committed to working toward that end.