Homelessness is an extremely complicated and tragic community issue. Santa Cruz is grappling with a substantial homeless challenge and sadly, we are not alone. Many other communities in California and around the country are experiencing a growth in homelessness.
While the City of Santa Cruz alone cannot solve homelessness, we can help to alleviate the suffering of many in the Santa Cruz homeless population. In April of 2016 the City Council authorized creation of a six-month ad hoc Homelessness Coordinating Committee. The Committee's charge was to "cooperatively exchange information and identify actions to change homelessness in our community." The Committee convened in July 2016 and one of its first decisions was to define the development of actionable solutions as the focus of its work. In May 2017 the Committee released its report and recommendations, which include both near-term and long-term recommendations. City Council unanimously approved all the Committee's recommendations and allocated $300,000 in the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget to implement solutions.
You can see the City of Santa Cruz Homeless Coordinating Committee Final Report and Recommendations here.
In Santa Cruz, the Homeless Services Center partners with individuals and families to create pathways out of their homelessness into permanent housing. To visit the Homeless Services Center website, please click here.
There are many efforts underway in Santa Cruz County to address the issues and needs of homelessness. These include the County's Homeless Action Partnership and Continuum of Care programs. The City of Santa Cruz helps fund the Homeless Action Partnership, which in turn funds programs like winter shelters for both north and south counties. To learn more about the Homeless Action Partnership please click here.