Camarillo, CA – A plan to provide transitional housing for at-risk young adults throughout Ventura County recently moved a step closer to fruition.
Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families has received funding awards in the amount of $6,820,000 to support the renovation of three residential care buildings at the agency’s Camarillo-based campus
Casa Pacifica, which is the largest nonprofit provider of mental and behavioral health services for children, adolescents and families in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, offers housing, mental health and supportive services for young adults who have touched the foster care/probation system or are at high risk of homelessness.
Casa Pacifica’s Stepping Stones program, launched in 2012, focuses on fortifying young adults who do not have the support of family or other trusted adults. The program structure, along with experienced staff, provide critical support services, including case management, therapy, parenting and vocational skills, to help prepare young adults for greater individual responsibility and independence.
The expansion project is part of California’s Project Homekey, administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, to expand housing access through the conversion of vacant hotels, motels and other buildings into both permanent and transitional housing units.
Funding for the project was a combination of state and private philanthropic donations including the County of Ventura and The William and JoAnne Miller Charitable Trust.
“The ongoing collaboration between Casa Pacifica and the County of Ventura demonstrates our shared commitment to create viable housing solutions for one of the most vulnerable populations in our region,” said Shawna Morris, Casa Pacifica CEO. “This expanded site will make an immediate difference in the lives of at-risk young adults by providing them with service-enriched and supportive housing, including access to critical mental and behavioral health services.
“We are immeasurably grateful for the support from the County of Ventura and the William and JoAnne Miller Charitable Trust to ensure even more young adults can have the experience of housing with dignity and meaningful support.”
“Delivering viable options for young adults who are at risk of homelessness, providing therapeutic interventions that they need and putting them on a path for successful, independent living is Casa Pacifica’s goal,” said
Rob Wynner, chair, Casa Pacifica Board. “We are pleased to have great partners like the County of Ventura and Project Homekey working with us to increase living spaces and help for young adults who are at an increased risk of homelessness.”
According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, more than 12,000 unaccompanied young adults have experienced homelessness in California since 2020. In the first four years of aging out of foster care, approximately 20% of former foster youth will experience homelessness.
“On behalf of the County Board of Supervisors, we are very pleased to hear the news of the successful Project Homekey financial award and are thankful for the tremendous work of Casa Pacifica in expanding service at-risk youth in our communities,” said Dr. Sevet Johnson, CEO, County of Ventura.
“The planned expansion will help provide additional, and much needed, transitional housing for our young adults experiencing challenges and will greatly help their healing and recovery. We are grateful for the strong partnership that we have with Casa Pacifica and are delighted to be able to provide financial support for this program to serve our community members in some of their most important times of need.”
Construction for the Casa Pacifica expansion project includes remodeling three residential care buildings converted to interim housing for young adults and young adults with children. The expansion will provide 27 suites of housing and wrap-around services, available for youth aged 18 to 25, who are current or former foster youth or who have had prior experience with probation. Construction begins this summer and will be led by RRM Design Group.