Police Chief Rallies Pot Businesses to Fund New Homeless Shelter Beds in Oxnard

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Volunteers work to put together beds funded by donations from weed dispensaries at a temporary homeless shelter in Oxnard on Feb. 25, 2019. (Credit: KEYT)

Volunteers work to put together beds funded by donations from weed dispensaries at a temporary homeless shelter in Oxnard on Feb. 25, 2019. (Credit: KEYT)

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An Oxnard homeless shelter has 100 new bunk beds largely paid for by legal cannabis dispensaries.

The temporary shelter expansion came after the police chief in neighboring Port Hueneme contacted Oxnard’s homeless program coordinator about a newspaper photo showing air mattresses on the floor there, KEYT in Santa Barbara reports.

Chief Andrew Salinas then contacted cannabis dispensaries and five of them quickly donated $25,000.

Another $10,000 was provided by a Port Hueneme community fund.

Salinas told KEYT the money was raised within two days.

“Being our homeless problem was the biggest, No. 1 problem that we had in our community, I reached out to all of them and they responded without hesitation,” he said.

The biggest donation, at $17,000, came from SkunkMasters dispensary in Port Hueneme. Co-founder Mark Tatum said he saw it as “an awesome opportunity to help a lot of people.”

The bunk beds arrived on Monday and were assembled by about 30 volunteers from a carpenters union local.

Michael Moyer, who’s been homeless for five years, has been staying at the facility since it opened weeks ago.

“It’s awesome. This is a gift nobody dreamed of,” Moyer said. “It’s going to make people a lot more comfortable.”

The shelter will be open daily until its funding runs out, which it expects to happen in a few months.

KTLA’s Erika Martin contributed to this report.

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