An Initiative of United Way
of Santa Cruz County

Smart Solutions to Homelessness-
In This Issue
New Local Study on Homelessness
Civinomics has released a study conducted with UCSC, comparing perceptions and lived experience of local homelessness.

Veterans Resource Center Receives $3.7M Grant

The VA announced its 2015 Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) awards and the Veterans Resource Center in Santa Cruz County (listed as Vietnam Veterans of California) was awarded $3.75 million over three years to assist local veterans in obtaining and retaining housing!  This is a big step toward the countywide goal to reach zero Veteran homelessness by 2016.  

Congratulations to the Veterans Resource Center!  


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What Are Smart Solutions?


Produce measurable results

Cost effective

Benefit the entire community

Take a step toward ending homelessness

Support the dignity of each individual

Our VISION is a Santa Cruz County in which every community member has some form of safe shelter, and where homelessness is a rare occurrence.

Our MISSION is to improve the way Santa Cruz County works collaboratively to reduce and ultimately end homelessness.

New Countywide Strategic Plan to End Homeless Approved Unanimously

The County Board of Supervisors and all four cities unanimously approved the new countywide strategic plan to prevent, reduce, and eventually end homelessness. Over 80 stakeholders and community members attended the Press Conference & Launch Event on April 8th to kick off the new plan.

The plan was developed after a yearlong strategic planning and community engagement process organized by the Homeless Action Partnership, Smart Solutions, and the United Way. The broad input has created widespread energy and momentum- join us! 


Read the plan here:

All In- Toward A Home For Every County Resident


Read the Santa Cruz Sentinel Article
Watch the KION Report
Check out Photos from the Press Conference 

Take Action: Opportunity to Educate & Engage
Take action with us and consider writing a letter to the editor at the Santa Cruz Sentinel. There is a relevant dialogue occurring regarding the suspected practice of "dumping" people experiencing homeless from one city to another.
Rather than siding with one view or another, Smart Solutions is asking that the community focus our energy on long-term solutions that move us towards ending homelessness.
Please consider writing a letter to help move this conversation into productive action. Smart Solutions recommends the following points:
  • We need community solutions to this community problem. Our county can and must work together to effectively end homelessness.
  • The way we address homelessness must provide solutions to systemic issues, not simply react to immediate problems.
  • Our county now has a new countywide strategic plan to end homelessness. Let's look to the plan's recommendations to work together and solve problems.

 Not aware of the dialogue? -Article- -Letters- 

Volunteers Needed for Project Homeless Connect Santa Cruz

The PHC Event Organizing Committee hopes to continue with our PHC efforts until every day is a homeless connect day and we can house and support folks before they become homeless.

If you are a provider of Homeless services, please click here to complete the participation request form.  

Sign up to volunteer here !
Santa Cruz Event:
Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
Kaiser Area, Downtown Santa Cruz

Watsonville Event:
Date TBD, November, 2015
Veteran's Hall, Watsonville

Learn more about Project Homeless Connect
United Way
United Way