shelter programs

Housing Matters has four different homeless shelters on our Coral Street campus. Each of these shelters serves a different population, and all are designed to provide a safe place to sleep while working with a case manager to find permanent housing. We design these spaces to be welcoming and comfortable, while also focusing on moving people forward.

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, 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.

If you have children and are seeking shelter, we offer intake interviews for our Rebele Family Shelter on Tuesdays from 1:00 to 4:00, also on our Coral Street campus.

All of our programs follow a Housing First model. Housing First is an internationally recognized best practice that focuses on successfully connecting individuals and families with stable, permanent housing, without preconditions or barriers to entry, so that they can more effectively addresses their challenges and pursue opportunities.

Paul Lee Loft

The Paul Lee Loft is a low-barrier shelter for up to 40 individuals at a time. The Loft is open to adults who are currently experiencing homelessness and who are partnering with us to end their homelessness. The goal of this shelter program is to provide a temporary and safe place while clients actively work on finding permanent, stable housing. The Loft serves some of our most vulnerable clients.

Page Smith Community House

Page Smith Community House is a transitional housing program that provides up to 18 months of supportive transitional housing to 40 individual men and women. Participants living in community housing units, with individual bedrooms and shared common spaces. The program provides homeless adults the opportunity to apply for benefits, attain employment, save money, repair or establish a rental history, and take other important steps toward stability, while receiving intensive case management and other support services.

Recuperative Care Center

The Recuperative Care Center is an innovative medical respite program located on the Coral Street campus. This program is a collaboration between Housing Matters and the County of Santa Cruz Homeless Persons’ Health Project, Dominican and Watsonville hospitals, Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), Hospice of Santa Cruz County, and Central California Alliance for Health. Up to 12 individuals experiencing homelessness are able to stay at a time and recover/stabilize while receiving integrated social services including housing planning, mental health care, benefits enrollment, and substance abuse treatment. The Recuperative Care Center aims to reduce recovery time from significant medical events, and to decrease the likelihood of recurring hospital stays.

Rebele Family Shelter

Rebele Family Shelter provides emergency shelter for up to 28 households with children (approximately 90 individuals). Families reside in the shelter while working toward obtaining permanent housing. RFS also includes a dining facility, common areas for social interaction among residents, and play areas for children. Case managers provide support as well as coordination of community services and resources to help families who are working towards building stability and long-term self-sufficiency.

Collectively, our four shelters provide beds for nearly 200 individuals on any given night, which are nearly half of the beds available in all of Santa Cruz County. This transitional housing can be life-changing for those who are able to access it. 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 1800 men, women, 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 and best practices, 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, by learning how you can take action today.