shelter programs

Housing Matters runs three emergency shelter programs on our campus. 

The first step for placement in one of our shelters or programs is to call (831) 458-6020 to make an appointment for an intake assessment. You may also visit us at 115 Coral Street in Santa Cruz to make an appointment. You can also learn more about the shelter referral process and see a list of organizations making referrals on the County’s COVID-19 Homeless Services Information webpage >

All Housing Matters shelters operate as a pathway to housing; that is, all shelter residents are expected to be actively working on a plan to get into permanent housing. We provide support in your journey toward housing.

shelter placement

The best way to learn about shelter availability and find a shelter that is the best fit for you is by coming for an intake interview on our campus, at 115 Coral Street in Santa Cruz, from 1:00 to 4:00, Monday through Friday. Our intake and assessment specialists will carefully listen to your individual situation, and help you get connected with the best services for you. You can call first to make an appointment: (831) 458-6020. If you cannot make it to Housing Matters, you can get a referral for shelter through the following two options:

You can access the COVID-19 Shelter Referral Process through a variety of service providers; this system is available in response to the coronavirus pandemic. See more information on the County’s website >

Santa Cruz County’s Smart Path referral system is another streamlined way to get connected with the best services for your situation, including shelter and supportive services. Learn more about getting a Smart Path assessment on the Smart Path website >

Note: If you have children and are seeking shelter, we offer Smart Path Coordinated Entry System assessments for our Rebele Family Shelter and other family services on Tuesdays from 1:00 to 3:00, also on our Coral Street campus.


shelter requirements

Housing Matters’ shelters are low barrier. That means that we welcome people wherever they are in their journey to permanent housing. We have clear and simple behavioral expectations, and the only requirement we have for participation in one of our shelter programs is that you are working toward a permanent housing plan. We provide support along the way, but ultimately it is the client’s responsibility to move toward housing.


additional programs

You can learn about our non-residential programs on our Housing Services page and our Other Support Services page >

You can find resources for a variety of needs on our Community Resources page >


Collectively, our three shelters provide beds for nearly 200 individuals on any given night, which are more than a third of the beds available in all of Santa Cruz County. Shelter can be life-changing for those who are able to access it, especially when it is designed as a pathway to housing. However, the need in our county is much larger than we are able to provide for, with an estimated 80% of our local homeless population going unsheltered — that’s approximately 1700 women, men, and children without shelter in our community, every night.

We are always looking to expand resources and better serve each and every person experiencing homelessness. Through systems change, best practices, and agility in the face of crises, we work hard toward the vision that homelessness in Santa Cruz County should be rare, brief, and non-recurring. Indeed, we are resolving homelessness together. Join us in moving forward toward a healthier, more stable community for all residents — housed and unhoused — by learning how you can take action today.