Community Members

Homelessness in Santa Cruz County is a serious problem. The latest survey of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the county has found that their numbers are increasing. Homelessness affects many different people, regardless of age, employment status, or race, including youth and families. For more information about homelessness, visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness website here.

Smart Path to Housing and Health is a new initiative in Santa Cruz County, launched in April 2018, aimed at helping people and families experiencing homelessness who are most in need. Those with the greatest level of need will be prioritized to receive assistance first. Prioritization is done based upon self-care skills, risk of harm, physical health, and other considerations. Those who are not at the greatest risk will receive referrals for other services, such as meals, showers, medical care, and government benefits.

In order to make this happen, Santa Cruz County is utilizing a unified technology solution that will allow participating agencies to share information and send referrals for services electronically. Designed for our county’s unique needs, this system will allow us to better serve those experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County.