Solutions

Announcing Our Newest Program: Housing Now

Housing Matters is hiring a specialized team of case managers to house 90 people experiencing homelessness over the next 15 months

The hiring spree is in conjunction with a countywide effort to build case management capacity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic

 

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — (February 24, 2021): Housing Matters announced today it is participating in a countywide effort to build case management capacity and house 90 of the community’s most vulnerable neighbors.

The project, called Housing Now, is aimed at ensuring those who have been sheltered during the pandemic exit shelter into permanent housing, rather than back onto the street. Since the pandemic started, shelter capacity — in the form of temporary shelters and also hotels — has increased by approximately 300 beds.

“Since the pandemic started, there’s been a big question of what will happen to the folks in hotels and temporary shelters when life returns to normal,” said Tom Stagg, Housing Matters Director of Programs. “The County is committed to ensuring people don’t return to the streets, and we’re excited to be part of that effort.”

Stagg explained that Housing Matters already has several programs that serve people experiencing homelessness out in the community (that is, those not in a Housing Matters shelter program) with case management, housing navigation, and other supportive services. 

“This new Housing Now program has a focus on a specific portion of the population, but otherwise it is an extension of the work we already do every day,” said Stagg.

Housing Matters aims to hire five new case managers and one program manager, plus some additional staff, with the goal of housing 90 people in the next 15 months. Stagg explained that the people who’ve received shelter in a temporary shelter or a hotel are among the most vulnerable in the county.

“Those beds were reserved for high-risk individuals,” he said. “Even once the pandemic is starting to fade behind us, it will still be unsafe for the health of those folks if they have to return to the streets. It’s critical that we move them into housing before their shelter or hotel stay is up.”

The program is funded by the County of Santa Cruz, and as part of the recruitment efforts, it is offering remarkable competitive pay. 

“These positions will start at $31 per hour, which is quite competitive for case management positions in our county,” said Rebecca Steckler, Deputy Executive Director at Housing Matters. “We hope to attract experienced professionals who can hit the ground running.”

She noted that Housing Matters will be doing an internal recruitment effort, and also looking for talent outside the organization. 

“It’s part of our culture to hire from within whenever possible,” she said. “Though of course whenever we do that, we have positions to backfill. We’re excited to meet new talented individuals throughout this search process, either for these new positions or other newly open positions.”

Housing Matters is only one of the organizations running this new program. The County of Santa Cruz and Abode Services are also implementing the program.

Housing Matters is hosting a job fair on March 4 for interested candidates to come meet with Housing Matters hiring managers. The fair will be held in person, with strict social distancing protocols in place. Attendees will arrive at pre-designated times, and will follow all COVID safety best practices.

Interested parties can visit housingmatterssc.org/careers to view the Housing Now job postings. To apply, candidates should send their resume to recruiter@housingmatterssc.org. Housing Matters will be holding a job fair on March 4 from 12:00 to 4:00; once it has been confirmed that an applicant meets the qualifications for the available positions, they will be sent the link to sign up for a time slot at the job fair.

For additional information about the open positions, contact Housing Matters Human Resources Coordinator, Raine Armanino, at (831) 458-6020.