Oxnard couple share adoption story for Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month, and Foster VC Kids is sharing a heartwarming story in hopes of inspiring adoptions in Ventura County.

Victor Pulido and Pedro Virgen completed foster parent certification in 2014, moving one step closer to fulfilling a dream of raising a family together. The couple received their license on a Friday, and the following Tuesday the couple were foster parents of two.

Since then, Pulido and Virgen have fostered 15 children from newborn to teenager.

This year, Pulido and Virgen have completed the process to adopt a child of their own, a 6-month-old named Mattias, all the while fostering a 16-year-old girl from Casa Pacifica in Camarillo.

The county currently has 900 foster children and youth waiting for a foster home. Foster VC Kids says that the children most in need of support are youth over 9 years of age, infants and children with medical needs and separated siblings.

Pulido and Virgen urge others to become foster parents.

“Transforming the lives of children and families is incredible, giving them the feeling that they do have a future.”

For more information about Foster VC Kids, visit www.fostervckids.org.

Preterm birth rates lower for county than state

A report released by the California March of Dimes and dubbed the Premature Birth Rate Report Card showed that California’s preterm birth rate, i.e., births before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, rose to 8.6 percent, a six-year high. The state was given a “B” grade as a whole. In Ventura County, however, the preterm birth rate was 7.7 percent, earning an “A” grade.

The numbers, collected from 2016, show that Ventura County had 10,060 live births, 771 of which were preterm. While the local numbers are good, the state numbers are a blow to the March of Dimes’ goal of reaching 8.1 percent by 2020.

“California had been making steady progress toward our 8.1 percent goal, reducing the preterm birth rate from 9.1 percent in 2007 to 8.3 percent in 2014,” said Peyton Mason-Marti, MPH, March of Dimes regional director of Maternal Child Health. “The subsequent two years of increases to 8.6 percent in 2016, takes us back to where we were in 2010.”

To read more on the March of Dimes, visit www.marchofdimes.org.

Farmworker housing available in Ventura, Santa Paula, Oxnard

The Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation has announced that five farmworker housing units are available to farmworkers in Ventura County, and applications are currently being accepted.

The units include one four-bedroom apartment in Oxnard, a one-bedroom apartment in Ventura and three units, including a one-bedroom, a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom, are available in Santa Paula.

Applicants are being considered through the USDA-RD rent subsidy program, which is granted to applicants with income limits and farm labor requirements.

To apply, fill out an application at www.cabrilloedc.org/apply-for-housing/ and submit it to the apartment’s property manager’s office. For more information, call 659-3791.

New locations for BikeVentura, Ventura Bike HUB

The nonprofit BikeVentura and Ventura Bike HUB will relocate nine blocks closer to Main Street in Ventura into a space three times the size of their current location on Ventura Avenue in a move signaling the group’s desire to reach and support more cyclists in the city.

The space is expected to be opened by Nov. 20, but the original location at 1150 N. Ventura Ave. will continue to be used as an education and auxiliary site.

The HUB, first launched in 2012, is a “do-it-together” community bike shop and second-hand bike thrift store. The HUB recently launched a Fillmore location, operating a mobile station on Saturdays in the city with plans to open a stationary location in the near future.

“Our goal is to have a HUB in every city throughout the county, and Fillmore represents our first location outside the city of Ventura,” said Yvonne Adan, board member and former chairperson for BikeVentura. “Fillmore serves as an agricultural gateway to the county, and there are no bicycle resources in the area to service that community’s needs.”

A preview party and fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. at 490 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, with proceeds benefiting the expansion. For more information, visit www.bikeventura.org.