Homelessness reaches crisis levels in Ventura County

Homelessness became a problem in the U.S. in the 1870s, when large amounts of unhoused people began to live in massive urban centers. This issue has grown to become more large-scale affecting people and cities in the U.S.

According to the 2021 point-in-time count, there were 1,584 homeless individuals in Ventura, up from 1,320 in 2019. This number rose to 2,238 in 2022, an increase of 451 persons compared to the 2020 count. The COVID-19 pandemic is partially to blame, further exacerbating the situation and leading to job losses and housing insecurity.

California is ranked number one with the largest homeless population at 171,521 people, 30% of the country’s total homeless count and a significant portion of the state’s total population. The most significant contributing factor to this percentage is the housing crisis in California, leaving an insufficient amount of affordable housing in the state. Other factors include mental health issues, addiction, job loss, tragic life occurrences and poverty.

The homelessness crisis is a pressing issue that requires urgent attention. With the homeless count on the rise, officials in Ventura County are taking proactive steps to address the problem. With the help of 500 volunteers, organizers are working tirelessly to support the increasing number of homeless people in the area. According to the state government website, California has already invested around 10 billion dollars into fighting homelessness, which is a promising sign that progress is being made. Nonetheless, with the homeless count in California increasing by 6% in the past two years, much more needs to be done to ensure that everyone has a safe and secure place to call home.