An Initiative of United Way
of Santa Cruz County
SEPTEMBER UPDATE
                                   

Smart Solutions to Homelessness-
In This Issue
Mark Your Calendars: Watsonville Project Homeless Connect November 6th

Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Watsonville PHC on November 6th from 11-5 at the Watsonville Veterans Hall on East Lake Street. The PHC Event Organizing Committee hopes to continue with their PHC efforts until every day is a homeless connect day and we can house and support folks before they become homeless. 
For more information on how you can be a Volunteer or be a Service Provider go to: 

What Are Smart Solutions?

Evidence-based

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 build the community will to reduce and ultimately end homelessness in Santa Cruz County through education and collaborative action.
Save Winter Shelter!
Every year for more than 25 years, all of our local governments have contributed funding to operate the winter shelter at the Armory.   While local governments have budgeted some funding for the winter shelter again this year, sufficient funds to operate the full program have not been committed. If sufficient funding is not identified, the largest shelter to serve the northern half of Santa Cruz County will be curtailed this winter.

The need can be even more clearly seen in these numbers from our local homeless census:
  • More than 1,354 unsheltered individuals countywide.
  • More than 120 homeless children are not sheltered.
  • About 200 people over the age of 60 are homeless.
  • More than 500 women are homeless.
One part of the solution is at hand. The armory is available for use. All that's needed is sufficient dollars to operate the program. And you can help make it happen.

Advocacy Priorities
Now that the the All In countywide strategic plan on homelessness has been developed and moved into implementation, the Smart Solutions to Homelessness Leadership Council has identified three areas on which to focus our ADVOCACY EFFORTS:


 
We will also continue to support expansion of employment and job training, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, homelessness prevention, permanent supportive housing, legal services, and basic interim services for persons experiencing homelessness.

Stay tuned for ways to join us in these advocacy efforts!
Ally Spotlight: Ingrid Trejo
Ingrid Trejo (Left) and Jonathan Rosen lead the Veterans Working Group discussion at the strategic planning public forum in Santa Cruz.
Ingrid Trejo may be one of our newest Leadership Council members, but she is no stranger to Smart Solutions to Homelessness.

As the Regional Site Director at the Santa Cruz Veterans Resource Center, she played an integral role in the countywide strategic planning process to develop the All In plan to address homelessness. She currently helps lead the Veterans Housing Group which meets weekly to make headway towards the goal to end veteran homelessness by the end of this year.

While there are significant barriers to housing our county's homeless veterans (the greatest of which is the restrictive housing market and need for more landlords to accept and support the housing voucher program), Ingrid and the Veterans Housing Group are implementing innovative solutions to locate stable housing, one vulnerable vet at a time.

Doubt that ending veteran homeless is possible? For more information about the working group, check out July's All In Implementation Update.

Thank you for all you do to house the homeless in Santa Cruz County, Ingrid!
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