(LUYV) is a grassroots advocacy program founded by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura. We are building a diverse coalition of people from all walks of life who are committed to preventing and ending homelessness while increasing the overall leadership capacity in Ventura. We work with the homeless community, social service organizations, and government officials to ensure that the needs and interests of people experiencing homelessness are not only heard but form the basis of services and policies. We also provide direct support to the homeless community, through our support of programs like Safe Sleep, the Homelessness Prevention Fund, River Haven, Home to Stay, and many others. Our goal is to break open hearts and awaken compassion in all of us for those who do not have a clean and safe place to sleep.
Lift Up Your Voice offers a variety of Action Opportunities for you to get involved with ending homelessness in Ventura. You should also regularly check our Actions & Updates to know how you can Lift Up Your Voice!
Currently, officials of the City of Ventura and Ventura County are conducting operations to remove people who are camping on public lands, and they are encouraging private land owners to do the same. We believe it is immoral and unjust to remove people from where they have found a place to sleep, if there are no viable options for where they can sleep. We call upon the City and the County to cease all Dislocation Operations until they have adequate emergency, transitional, and affordable housing in Ventura for all the people who are experiencing homelessness.
Every human being deserves a place to sleep that is indoors, warm, and safe. Whether we want to admit it or not, our society and leaders often decide that some people are deserving and some people are not. We are each
other's keeper, and so it is our responsibility together to make sure that all people have clean and safe affordable housing, that we have a year-round shelter in Ventura, and that we ensure that no one has to sleep on the ground or in their cars in our city. As the city leadership is promoting a "Safe and Clean" anti-panhandeling campaign, we call upon Ventura to focus the city's attention on providing Clean and Safe Affordable Housing.
"A Hand Up, not a Hand Out" has become a mantra from many City Officials as well as the leaders of local Social Service Organizations. What is meant by this phrase is that public and social service support for the homeless should be contingent upon the person being willing to "work a plan" to end their homelessness with a caseworker. While this sounds good at first, abundant research shows that until someone has their basic needs met, it is difficult for them to do enough long-range thinking to be able to commit to a plan to end their homelessness. We believe that our community should ensure people have Housing First, and make sure they are safe, their medical needs are met, and they have food BEFORE we ask them to commit to a long-range plan.
The idea for Lift Up Your Voice came out of our work with the homeless community and our shared frustration regarding community perceptions and stereotypes of homeless individuals as adversaries instead of partners. Lift Up Your Voice expands across many faith and community-based organizations with a growing number of informed and empowered advocates ‘lifting up their voices' which will ultimately be the voice behind Ventura's increased capacity and motivation for social change.
Multiple source funding includes the McCune Foundation, the Fund for Unitarian Universalist Social Responsibility (UUSR), the UU congregation and gracious private donors.