At Housing Matters, we recognize that there is no one way to find your way to permanent housing. Indeed, there are as many possible pathways and situations as there are people. We are committed to partnering with our clients and our community, always working toward resolving homelessness together.

At Housing Matters, we recognize that there is no one way to find your way to permanent housing. Indeed, there are as many possible pathways and situations as there are people. We are committed to partnering with our clients and our community, always working toward resolving homelessness together.

get services

Currently experiencing homelessness? Learn about the resources available from Housing Matters and other community agencies by clicking any of the buttons below. If you would like to reach out directly, please contact us at 831-458-6020.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911.

Monarch Services 24-hour bilingual Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline:
1-888-900-4232

If you are not in imminent danger but need immediate mental health crisis support, call Santa Cruz County Mental Health:
1-800-952-2335 (24 hours a day)


community resources

+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:

+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:

+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 and case manager is to complete a Smart Path Assessment. Call (831) 458-6020 to make an appointment for an intake assessment at Housing Matters. You may also visit us at 115 Coral Street in Santa Cruz to make an appointment, though in light of coronavirus precautions, phone calls are preferred when possible. 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:  bgutierrez@housingmatterssc.org or 831-245-3477

The following agencies also provide workforce training and resources:

+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).

+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.

+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.

non-residential services

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 Programs

shelter programs

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.

Shelter Programs