First Step Center

First Step Center is Project Understanding’s gateway to welcome people and identify how we can help.

At First Step, people register and provide basic information to help us understand their situation so we can help them achieve their highest attainable level of independence. Project Understanding guides and supports clients in that process, monitors progress, as well as provides a system of accountability. We strive to prevent homelessness for clients and move homeless clients out of homelessness as soon as possible.

The intake process at First Step Center is the first step for individuals and families to begin identifying and solving problems in their lives. Intake Specialists assist clients with realistic objectives, resources and referrals. Some of the most common referrals offered are: DMV reduced-fee vouchers, utility payment assistance through Community Action, referrals to our H2H (Homeless 2 Home) program, and Rental Assistance through H2H to prevent homelessness. Representatives from outside programs visit once a month to meet with clients and start the application process.

Fill out the Intake Form to get started, or stop by our First Step Center during regular business hours.

Program Requirements (Intake Portion):

  • Proof of Identity (ID)
  • Proof of Income – last two check stubs, SSI/SSA/Disability award letter or bank statement if direct deposit, food stamps, unemployment stubs.
  • Proof of Address – rental agreement; if renting a room, letter from landlord
  • Proof of Dependents/custody – rental agreement (if listed on it), legal paperwork and awarding custody.
  • If Homeless, ID and mailing address

Intake Form

Get started by filling out this form. A representative will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

  • Select all that apply

First Step Center: 2734 Johnson Dr. Ste E, Ventura, CA 93003
Open: Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone: (805) 652-1326

The Basics of Change

Find out more about the programs and services Project Understanding offers.


The Food Pantry at Project Understanding helps to provide groceries once a month to families whose budget cannot support the purchase of their own.


Housing at Project Understanding consists of a number of programs designed to help people get back on their feet, providing a place to live and become self reliant.


Tutoring Centers at Project Understanding provide extra instruction for students grades K-5 with volunteer tutors in one-to-one interaction.

You Can Be Someone's Hand Up!

On average, we serve 2,000 individuals each month with personal, face-to-face help. We couldn't do this without volunteers.
Our team of mission-driven volunteers serve and transform lives and our community!

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