Fire Displacement Resources

Housing Matters is here for our entire community. We stand in solidarity and support, and we are eternally grateful for all the relief efforts happening in every corner of our county. 

On a more practical level, we’d like to share what it is we do, day in and day out, year round.

We are Santa Cruz County’s largest nonprofit working exclusively on homelessness. We run four shelters on our campus, and along with our community-based programs, we collectively serve well over 450 people at any given time.

Our focus is housing, plain and simple. Our goal for all of our clients is to get back into permanent, stable housing.

People lose their housing for all sorts of reasons. Many people who find themselves without a home don’t have access to many relief resources. For many, organizations like Housing Matters are their main resource for getting back into housing.

If you lost your home in the fire, or are displaced for any amount of time, our doors are always open. However, there are also emergency assistance resources that may be better suited for your particular situation:

FEMA Disaster Relief is available here > 

You can call 2-1-1 to learn about available resources in our county.

The County of Santa Cruz is maintaining a comprehensive list of information and resources here > 

And if you would like to learn more about our services, you can always give us a call at (831) 458-6020, or visit our Get Help pages. 

Our thoughts are with you all. 

We also want to acknowledge that our homes are so important. And it’s okay to be filled with emotions bigger than the most magnificent redwood tree.

There’s been a lot of talk on social media and among friends and neighbors about how our lives are the only thing that matters. If we’re evacuated, and out of harm’s way, we should be thankful that our lives are not at risk. But really, who among the evacuees — even among those who haven’t had to evacuate — is feeling like assurance of their personal safety is enough right now? 

To lose something, even temporarily, that is so paramount to our daily stability and comfort and groundedness and ultimately, sanity, is to lose all of those things. How could any evacuee feel stable and grounded and sane right now? Especially for those whose homes are directly threatened by fire, how can we rest tonight when we don’t know where we’ll be resting our heads in the months to come?

For those who haven’t had to evacuate, how can we watch our community come unfurled and not cry out with our evacuated friends and neighbors?

Santa Cruz County is currently a mixture of complex, ever-changing, conflicting and confusing and paralyzing emotions. We are up, we are down, we are helping and yearning and mourning and grateful. And all of those things are normal and okay. We’ve had moments of adrenaline, days of frantically refreshing all news sources for something new, hours of completely unplugging because it’s just. too. much.

We don’t have the answers for what’s to come, or what is best for each family and household experiencing loss — temporary or long-term — in Santa Cruz County right now. But we work toward housing with our clients every day of every year. We work daily with the trauma that being without a home can cause. And we are here.

We see you. We feel your hurt. We send our love. And we will be here, working alongside you, as our community rebuilds.