County launches farmworker resource program

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has approved a first-of-its-kind program in California that will contract bilingual employees knowledgeable in farmworker issues to assist farmworkers and their employers in dealing with available resources.

By unanimous vote, the Board approved the Farmworker Resource Program, which, once implemented, intends to seek timely resolutions to workplace issues, address systemic issues and provide guidelines for available county, state and federal resources, with special attention given to farmworker complaints regarding payroll, working conditions and sexual harassment.

“We want to build trust and relationships with farmworkers, employers, farmers and advocates,” said District 5 Supervisor, John Zaragoza. “Our goal is to develop a program that will assist farmworkers with prompt resolutions to workplace issues, and in navigating the wide array of public agencies which provide services to them. The committee worked together to make this happen.”

State Route 33 pavement project begins

Be prepared to slow when traveling along State Route 33 as Cal Trans has begun a project to repair and replace pavement along six miles between Ventura and Casitas Springs.

The $12.5 million project will see crews working at night and will provide detours when needed while replacing and repairing asphalt and concrete pavement and repairing bridges. Date of completion is set for summer 2019.

Oxnard funds homeless shower renovation

Community Action of Ventura County announced that the City of Oxnard will fund a shower renovation at the organization’s Transition Center, which serves 20,000 individuals annually.

The showers, says Executive Director Cynder Sinclair, had deteriorated to the “point of being unsafe” and have been closed since August, adding that over 6,000 made use of the facilities over the 12 months prior to closure.

The funding, in the range of $30,000 to $40,000, will allow for the showers to reopen after renovation.
“We are so grateful to the City Manager and to the Oxnard Housing Department for helping us continue to provide this critical service to our homeless clients,” said Sinclair.

Behavioral Health receives grant to combat opioid abuse

Since 2012, more Americans have died from drug overdose than both traffic accidents and gun violence, and no drug has received more fault than opioids, a powerful drug blamed for the majority of 100 accidental drug-overdose deaths Ventura County experiences annually.

In an effort to combat the issue, The Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, in cooperation with the County’s Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Workgroup, announced on Oct. 5 that the County of Ventura has received a $935,401 grant under the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program, with federal funding provided by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat opioid misuse.

“With this new funding, we will dramatically expand our ability to leverage information from multiple sources — our behavioral health, public health, emergency medical services, medical examiner and public safety data — to analyze trends and target efforts to reduce local impacts,” said Dr. Loretta Denering, division chief for Alcohol and Drug Programs.

To learn more about the program, visit www.VenturaCountyResponds.org.

Anti-bullying hotline launched in Ventura County

October is Bullying Prevention Month, and in light of the occasion, the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, Inc., has launched an anti-bullying hotline and webpage for those who may have been, are being or are concerned about bullying.

Themed “Be a Hero – Rise Up Against Bullying,” the 24/7 hotline will serve students in the Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura with multilingual counselors and can offer in-person advocacy along with educational and informational programs.

“You are not alone,” said Jennifer Calderon, LMFT, LPCC, assistant director for Transitional Youth and Family Support Services. “We take bullying very seriously. And with the launch of this program, kids and parents and teachers have a place to turn to if they are being bullied or are concerned about bullying.”
The hotline number is (866) BeAHero (232-4376) and the web site address is www.866BeAHero.com.