On Dec. 1, St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles opened Winter Warming Shelter at the Oxnard Armory, located at 351 South K Street, Oxnard. The shelter, now in its 13th year, will operate daily from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. through March 31, 2015. The Ventura Winter Shelter is a safe haven that assists homeless individuals during the coldest months of the year. It was started in reaction to widely publicized reports of homeless men and women freezing to death on park benches and heating grates.

The program provides transportation to the shelter site; intake, case-management and referral services; dinner; showers; television entertainment; cots or air mattresses for sleeping; blankets that are assigned to each client and laundered weekly; a light breakfast; and transportation to a drop-off site. Case management is provided by representatives from County Homeless Services and from the Mental Health Clinic during the early evening hours every weekday. The Oxnard City Housing Authority assists in securing permanent housing for families and most of the clients have at least an initial contact with the County Health Department.

The shelter will accept as many people as possible who produce a current tuberculosis-free card and pass a Megan’s Law database check, because the shelter sometimes houses children.

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has allocated funding for homeless adults with minor children to be housed elsewhere (in motels).