The Thousand Oaks Police Department 's homeless outreach program works closely with local stakeholder and service providers. It is focused on four key areas, all of which connect the person experiencing homelessness with resources to help build self-sufficiency.
Police conduct weekly outreach with Lutheran Social Services, Ventura County Behavioral Health and other organizations. The focus is on reaching the most vulnerable people, providing information and encouraging them to accept help.
While homelessness and panhandling are not illegal, other activities like drinking alcohol in public, public urination, illegal camping and trespassing are enforced and may result in a warning, citation or arrest. Local police enforce all applicable laws, with the ultimate goal of encouraging homeless individuals to move toward self-sufficiency.
Campsite clean-up is a safety and public health issue that is taken seriously by local police. The law requires that most camps receive a seven-day notice before they can be cleaned up. Police have an active relationship with Thousand Oaks Public Works, Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA) and Caltrans to ensure sites are cleaned up as soon as legally allowed. As with other outreach, police make every effort to ensure campers are aware of local and regional resources.
Addressing the challenges of homelessness in our community requires that public agencies, non-profits and residents understand homelessness and work together. Police continue to educate the public about the issue, how to help, and how handouts can keep people from getting long-term support.
Questions or concerns about the homeless can be directed to:
Senior Deputy Juan Cordova l Email