get informed

The first step to finding community solutions for homelessness is education. Learn about homelessness in Santa Cruz County, read success stories of clients we’ve served, and dive into some national resources on understanding homelessness. As is often the case, there’s more than meets the eye.


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A tribute to thank Rowland “Reb” Rebele. For over 30 years Rowland Rebele has spearheaded services for people experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County. In 2015, he appeared on the program Reality Church to discuss his work.  

Success Stories

For many 23-year-olds, finding a job is at the top of their to-do list. To Vince, the thought of getting a job seemed impossible. At that time, Vince was living on the streets of Santa Cruz, worrying about his safety and the choices he made. But he wanted to take action and redirect his life […]

Success Stories

When Nina first came to Homeless Services Center, she thought she had no hope at all. Nina and her 17-year-old daughter were in a difficult situation, living with a boyfriend of Nina who was abusive, to avoid sleeping in their car or on the street with no protection. A single mother with no steady income […]

Success Stories

For the past year, Angela spent her days soaking in the beauty the many beaches in Santa Cruz. At night, however, Angela would be in dark, motionless parking lots throughout Santa Cruz fearing for her safety, not knowing what she would eat for her next meal. Angela first experienced homelessness four years ago, when the […]

Success Stories

When Marcus, a veteran who works in the IT field, told his fiancé Aria she needed to fill out yet another set of papers before getting the keys to their new condominium, Aria’s heart sank. For the past few months, Marcus, Aria, and their three teenaged children were living in emergency hotel assistance due to […]

Success Stories

For the past nine years, Gary, a father and a resident of Santa Cruz, did not know what was wrong with him. By the time he was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness and began his long road to being himself again, Gary had lost a lot of time. Once healthy, he struggled to find work, […]

Success Stories

For Bill, life was stable. As a truck driver for more than 30 years, Bill was married and had a house of his own in Santa Cruz. But once his divorce was finalized, the stability he was accustomed to vanished. In a short time, Bill lost everything and had nobody to turn to for help. […]

Blog

By Erin Gaede, Recuperative Care Center & Page Smith Community House Program Manager Each year, Santa Cruz’s Good Times selects a handful of area non-profits to be featured in their Santa Cruz Gives campaign. This annual holiday drive invites the community to support local non-profits, and throughout the giving season, the Good Times shares more in-depth […]

Media

From the Good Times: Phil Kramer has a story about a man who was homeless when he learned that he had cancer. After his initial hospital stay, the man was released to one of the 12 beds at the Homeless Services Center’s Recuperative Care Center (RCC), says Kramer, the executive director of the Homeless Services Center (HSC). […]

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A New Yorker story by Malcolm Gladwell about a man who was homeless in Reno who over the course of 10 years of expensive “non-solutions”, such as jail and hospitals, cost Nevada taxpayers one million dollars. Read the full story >

Success Stories

Like some individuals, Mark Simon, or Pastor Mark as many of us know him, had to deal with a myriad of health and mobility issues for a few years in his life. But most individuals who are struggling to recover from various health issues have a roof over their head — Mark did not. Mark […]

Events

Come tour our Coral Street campus and learn about the services we provide to those experiencing homelessness. Tour dates include: Wednesday, January 16 at 10:00am Tuesday, January 29 at 12:00pm Thursday, February 7 at 4:00pm Saturday, February 23 at 10:00am Tuesday, March 4 at 4:30pm Wednesday, March 20 at 8:30am No RSVP required.

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Understanding Homelessness is an educational website focused on reducing negative stigmas about people experiencing homelessness, and highlighting solutions using data and creative visualization tools. View the Understanding Homelessness website >

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Smart Solutions to Homelessness is a Santa Cruz County-based organization with a stated mission to “build the community will to reduce and ultimately end homelessness in Santa Cruz County through community education and collaborative action.” View the Smart Solutions to Homelessness website >

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can occur after an individual has experienced a traumatic event, particularly those that include the threat of injury or death, and it is apparent among populations experiencing homelessness. Read the full report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness >

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No Place Like Home is a research project based at UC Santa Cruz that looks at the meaning of “home” in the midst of a housing crisis. View the research and learn more about the project >

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As of 10/17/18, the Housing Authority has opened the waiting list for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Programs for Santa Cruz County and the Cities of Hollister and San Juan Bautista! The waiting list will be open until 5pm on December 6, 2018. A lottery process will determine the order of the waiting list, so there is […]

Media

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel: “The Watsonville City Council approved a contract on Tuesday with the Salvation Army to reopen the South County winter homeless shelter on Grant Street…” Read the entire article >

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The Center for Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness is dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness by connecting research to practice. Their mission is to empower communities to plan and implement services for people experiencing homelessness on the basis of the strongest available evidence. Their site is a clearing house of great information on the latest research […]

Success Stories

At one point in time, Kayla and her kids had nowhere to go. A mother of two skateboard-loving boys, Kayla was coming out of a difficult divorce and was finishing up six-month drug and alcohol program at a residential center, where she was staying with her children. On top of completing her recovery program and […]

Success Stories

If you ask Ray what the future looks like, he will tell you in one word: stable. Ray, a thirty-year-old cosmetologist with a Southern drawl, and his partner, David, found housing and a pathway forward after more than two years of facing discrimination, assault and battling substance use while experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz. Ray […]

Success Stories

One day, Alex was going to give up. A veteran, Alex had had a stable life and an apartment on 30th Avenue. But over the course of several months, a series of personal crises forced him out of his home. Try as he might to find another place he could afford, he eventually found himself […]

Events

On or about the longest night of the year – the Winter Solstice – communities across the country gather to remember neighbors who have died homeless in the past year. This year marks the 20th year for the remembrance gathering in Santa Cruz County.   * On-site parking extremely limited. Overflow parking available at Tannery […]

Success Stories

By the end of their stay at Homeless Services Center’s Rebele Family Shelter, the Martinez family — Manny, Laura, and their 16-year-old daughter Ana — had rented a house in Watsonville. If you saw the family prior to this, however, you would witness the family camping on a dry river bed, following their eviction from […]

Success Stories

The good news for Suzanne, a 61-year-old mother who had recently been discharged from the hospital, was that she was on almost a dozen waitlists for senior and affordable housing in the county. The bad news was some waitlists were years long, and Suzanne was unsure what she would do. Suzanne had been forced to […]

Publications

View our FY2018 Annual Report, including a message from Executive Director Phil Kramer, success stories, statistics, and some pointers for discussing homelessness with your community. View the Annual Report >

Media

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel: The number of people who have died while homeless in Santa Cruz County jumped significantly this year, and advocates and community members gathered Tuesday at the Homeless Services Center to remember the dead. Read the full story >

Media

An Op-Ed submitted to the Santa Cruz Sentinel by HSC Executive Director Phil Kramer. “Anyone who doubts shelter is a pathway to housing should meet Gary. He had been out of work for nine years due to an auto-immune illness…” Read the full op-ed >

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Research conducted with 104,206 individuals in Santa Clara County between 2007 and 2012. It includes demographic and medical attributes, justice system history, health and human services provided, and the cost of services. This data shows the realities of the true cost to public and safety net systems of homelessness in Silicon Valley. Visit the Destination: […]

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As of August 2017, 180/2020 has housed over 700 individuals who were experiencing chronic homelessness across Santa Cruz County! And we’re not done yet.  

Publications

View our FY2017 Annual Report, including a message from Executive Director Phil Kramer and Board President Claudia Brown, success stories, and statistics about community impact. View the Annual Report >

Blog

A young man was a daily user of the showers for the truly homeless. Despite all his trials and tribulations, he was able to earn enough college credits at Cabrillo to be admitted to UCSC as a junior in the math department. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. He stated that what […]

Blog

I have experienced a strong sense of community and support from everyone I have encountered here.  One thing I have specifically enjoyed witnessing is the obvious progress and improvement that clients and whole families undergo at our shelter, as case managers and other resources are provided and permanent housing is obtained by formerly homeless families. […]

Blog

As a volunteer at the Homeless Services Center, I have grown and learned so much from working alongside a team of dedicated staff. You will never find a more genuine and whole-hearted environment to be in. The people are very friendly and you never feel alone. There are a number of volunteer duties to take […]