+–I need multiple services
Santa Cruz County has an extensive network of service providers. If you’re not sure exactly what you need, or who you should contact, start with 211 Santa Cruz County. Dial 211 to be connected to a free and confidential referral service that will connect you to the services you need, including housing, food, child care, and other information.
Santa Cruz Free Guide is a list of a variety of services available throughout Santa Cruz County. You can see the Santa Cruz Free Guide here.
+–I’m struggling with substance use
There are multiple local resources that provide substance use treatment and support:
- Janus of Santa Cruz offers a variety of programs and services.
- Encompass Community Services has several programs through their Community Recovery Services, available for individuals and families.
- Santa Cruz County offers resources through its Health Services Agency.
- DrugRehab.com is an online resource dedicated to providing information and education about substances, treatment, and recovery.
- Elevate Addiction Services offers a thorough rehab program – from detox to aftercare – and even beforehand with intervention services. They have a facility in Watsonville.
- Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County offers a variety of programs and services with the goal of reducing the harm that can be associated with drug use.
- Santa Cruz NA and Santa Cruz AA host meetings around the County.
+–I need food
Second Harvest Food Bank is Santa Cruz County’s most comprehensive resource for information and support for people in need of food. You can contact their Community Food Hotline at (831) 662-0991 from 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday.
If you are interested in receiving CalFresh benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps), visit the County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department’s website to get started.
There are several locations throughout Santa Cruz County to get a hot meal, including Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes in Watsonville, and St. Francis Catholic Kitchen in Santa Cruz.
Food Not Bombs meets at the Clocktower downtown from noon – 4pm daily.
Every weekday, Grey Bears Healthy Food Program offers a free grocery store @ 11am followed by a hot meal @ 11:30am. Sign-up online.
+–I need shelter
Resources for local shelter include:
- Pajaro Valley Shelter, helping women, children, and families end the causes and cycles of homelessness — one family at a time.
- Pajaro Rescue Mission, a faith-based shelter for homeless adult men.
- Siena House, a residential program for pregnant and post-partum women in crisis.
- Faith Community Shelter, a rotating shelter run in part by its participants.
+–I need housing
There are a variety of programs available to help those experiencing homelessness find permanent, stable housing. The first step in getting connected with a program or service is to call (831) 458-6020 and ask to speak to someone on the Service Navigation Team at Housing Matters. You may also visit us at 115 Coral Street in Santa Cruz to make an appointment. If you prefer, you can complete the Smart Path Assessment at one of the many access points throughout the county.
You can also view our housing programs on our Non-Residential Services page.
+–I need to find employment
CalFresh Employment and Training (CFET) is a program offered by referral only to CalFresh participants. You can learn about this program at our campus, or through the county.
Drop-in hours for Berenice Gutierrez, CFET Employment Specialist are Thursday 1-3pm on the Coral Street campus.
Contact Berenice directly: firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-245-3477
The following agencies also provide workforce training and resources:
- Workforce Santa Cruz County is a partnership of local organizations that serve both job seekers and businesses in the community
- Homeless Garden Project provides job training, transitional employment and support services to people who are experiencing homelessness
- Goodwill Central Coast offers employment services and training programs
- Downtown Streets Team offers employment placement
- Job services and training are available through the Employment Development Department
- Job training is available through Workforce Santa Cruz County.
+–I need health services
- Homeless Persons’ Health Project is co-located with Housing Matters on our Coral Street campus. They provide comprehensive health care and housing in an effort to eliminate homelessness in our community.
- Santa Cruz County offers medical clinics that provide general medical care for infants, children and adults.
- Santa Cruz Community Health Centers operates two clinics, the East Cliff Family Health Center and the Women’s Health Center.
+–I need mental health services
If you are not in imminent danger but need immediate mental health crisis support call Santa Cruz County Mental Health at (800) 952-2335 (24 hours a day).
- Santa Cruz County’s Behavioral Health Division provides a wide range of prevention and treatment options for Santa Cruz County adults, children and their families.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Santa Cruz County offers services for anyone concerned about mental illnesses and their treatment.
+–I am a veteran
Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families (SSVF) is a housing program available through Housing Matters. Contact J-Bear at 831-222-0127 to set up an appointment.
- Santa Cruz County Veterans Services Office can connect veterans, military retirees, and their families to available benefits and services.
- A list of veterans service day providers can be found through the Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building website.
- Nation’s Finest has a local branch in Santa Cruz. Call their Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 if you are a veteran in crisis.
- Assisted Living Research Institute provides a comprehensive guide to assisted living resources for veterans.
+–I am fleeing an abusive partner
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
You can reach the Monarch Services 24-hour bilingual Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline at 1-888-900-4232. Monarch Services offers immediate crisis response to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as a wide range of support services.
Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center provides support and services for women, children and families.
Housing Matters services
Housing Matters is one of many agencies providing health and human services in Santa Cruz County. We offer residential, case management, and day services to people experiencing homelessness.
We offer a variety of services to people experiencing homelessness who are not staying on our campus. These range from housing programs and employment training programs to basic day services such as hot showers and access to our mail room. Our campus is also home to partners such as Homeless Persons Health Project and Dientes Community Dental Care.
Housing Matters runs three emergency shelter programs on our campus, including a family shelter, which collectively provide beds for nearly 160 people at any given time; the beds on our campus represent nearly half of the shelter beds in Santa Cruz County. The average stay in one of our shelters is approximately 3–6 months, depending on the program and individual situation, and each resident works with a case manager on a permanent housing plan.