United Way of Ventura County has raised $400,000 to help end homelessness in the area.
The nonprofit collected $100,000 with the help of six local sponsors as part of the Amgen Foundation’s challenge grant, which gave United Way a new funding mechanism to help increase housing stock and use existing housing vouchers to prevent and end homelessness. The Landlord Engagement Program is meant to generate permanent supportive housing for chronic homeless people.
The six founding funders include the city of Oxnard, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Pacific Western Bank, Sherwood Cares Foundation and Union Bank.
The Ventura County Continuum of Care is also chipping in with a Homeless Emergency Aid Program grant to the tune of $200,000.
“Homelessness continues to plague so many communities around the nation, including our own. It is inspiring to see how Ventura County has come together to support the Landlord Engagement Program,” said Eduardo Cetlin, president of the Amgen Foundation, in a news release. “Our fellow funders have recognized the tangible impact this program is having, and we are proud to stand with them to help end homelessness in Ventura County.”
United Way’s work has already started helping people in the area. Since December 2019, the Landlord Engagement Program has gotten 18 homeless households off the streets permanently. Additionally, United Way has helped almost 30 homeless veterans and their family members get off the street as part of the region’s COVID-19 response.
“We are grateful to the Amgen Foundation for leading the way with this generous challenge grant and the six founding funders who have joined the cause to bring an end to homelessness in Ventura County,” said Eric Harrison, United Way of Ventura County president and CEO, in the same news release. “Permanent supportive housing enables Ventura County’s most vulnerable individuals, families, and veterans to thrive at a much higher rate than short term shelters and we are encouraged by our success rate to date with this program.”