(L-R): Mayor of the City of Oxnard John Zaragoza, Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko, and Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin holding the $1 million.

On Friday November 5, Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin and Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced that $1 million has been secured for the Ventura County Family Justice Center (VCFJC) Oxnard Satellite Office.

“We are really excited about this expansion and we’re announcing today that we were able to receive a million dollars in state funding,” Irwin said.

Nasarenko said that 38 percent of the people seeking help at the Ventura Center have been Oxnard residents. Nearly a quarter of those looking for help are Mixteco or only speak Spanish.

VCFJC has assisted over 4,000 victims within the last few years. This includes victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, human trafficking, and hate crimes.

“This is a model of success. It is a model of collaboration, and that collaboration has been with our county partners, our board of supervisors, and I’m excited and delighted to extend that collaboration and partnership with the cities of Port Hueneme and Oxnard,” Nasarenko said.

Irwin said that she worked to secure the funds for the new Oxnard center after learning about the high number of Oxnard residents seeking help.

“I lobbied our governor to set aside funding for a satellite office in Oxnard,” Irwin said. 

Mayor of Oxnard, John Zaragoza, said to VIDA Newspaper, that the new center is a much-needed facility for Oxnard residents and is thankful for this expansion.

“Unfortunately, the majority of the countywide victims of abuse are from the city of Oxnard,” Zaragoza said to VIDA Newspaper. Nasarenko also mentioned that the Ventura site, located at 3170 Loma Vista Rd., will become a short-term domestic violence shelter in the months and years ahead.

There isn’t an exact date as to when the Oxnard center will open, as the location of it is still in the works but it was stated that it will be located near downtown Oxnard.

“I can only say hopefully [it will open] soon,” Nasarenko said to VIDA Newspaper. “We’re in negotiations right now with one of the buildings. It’s a three-story building, 17,000 square feet, and centrally located near downtown Oxnard. We’re talking to the owners as we speak.”

Senator Monique Limon said that she is grateful for everyone who has been involved in the project.

“When this idea of a family justice center first came up a few years ago, we talked about what it would take to expand this not just in California but in our community,” Limon said. “We’ve just been so diligent about trying to make sure that our community has access to the resources that are needed in a time of crisis.”

Among the people in attendance for the announcement of the $1 million check were County Supervisors Matt LeVere and Carmen Ramirez, Ventura County Community College District Trustee Dianne McKay, Oxnard Mayor John Zaragoza, Ventura Councilmember Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios, County Executive Officer Mike Powers, and more.