An Initiative of United Way

of Santa Cruz County

Smart Solutions to Homelessness-
In This Issue

Meredith Flores!

Please join us in welcoming Meredith Flores as the new Smart Solutions to Homelessness intern! Meredith is a third year Collaborative Health and Human Services student at Cal State Monterey Bay University. She will be working with us until Spring 2017, learning about solving complex community problems through collaborative action. If you see her out in the community, please say hello. We are very excited to have her on board!

Not the Other Oral Histories Seeks Web Administrator

Not The Other - Oral Histories of People Experiencing Homelessness
Not The Other - Oral Histories of People Experiencing Homelessness
A web designer is needed to rebuild The Oral Histories Project, Not the Other: Oral Histories of People Experiencing Homelessness. The site includes 42 interviews with people who are homeless in Santa Cruz, as well as photographs, print interviews, and several longer videos the project has created. The website for this project is content ready, but the site itself needs to be rebuilt. Use of Word Press would work fine. If you can volunteer, please contact Annette March, project director at 831-423-9920 or oralhistoriesprojectsc@ Thank you!

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 build the community will to reduce and ultimately end homelessness in Santa Cruz County through education and collaborative action.

$2Billion Proposed for California Affordable Housing

State leaders propose bold plan on chronic homelessness:
Earlier this year, California State Senate leader Kevin DeLeon joined a bipartisan group of legislators to propose a package of funding programs to address homelessness in California. The "No Place Like Home" package includes $2 billion to build permanent housing for chronically homeless persons with mental health challenges and promotes the "housing first" approach that is proving successful here and all around the country. We at Smart Solutions are still seeking details on how this proposal will impact Santa Cruz County.  While we await details, we can say unequivocally that it is great news that the legislature has elevated the issue of homelessness to this level of attention!
Advocating for additional resources for smart solutions to address homelessness is currently one of our three top advocacy priorities.  Our Smart Solutions Leadership Council will be discussing the No Place Like Home proposal at our April meeting and decide if this legislative package will be at the center of our advocacy efforts.

Read more about the "No Place Like Home" proposal here.

Here's a speech by Kevin DeLeon describing the proposal.
What is Smart Solutions to Homelessness?

Watch This to Learn More and Share!

In United Way of Santa Cruz County's 12 part video series we can dive deeper into a United Way program each month! Today we are excited to share the third episode: "WE Are: Smart Solutions to Homelessness"!

Smart Solutions to Homelessness - Santa Cruz County is a community-based initiative working to build the community will to reduce and end homelessness in Santa Cruz County.

Special thanks to Don Lane, Phil Kramer, Linda Lemaster, and Robyn McKeen for their time, expertise, and commitment towards ending homelessness. Extra special thanks to Mariah Tanner, Marketing Coordinator at United Way, for filming, editing and putting so much care and attention into this great video!

Smart Solutions Staff Transition

It is with a bittersweet farewell that we congratulate Robyn McKeen on her new position with the Homeless Services Center as the Smart Path (Coordinated Entry) Project Manager! Robyn has been the Smart Solutions to Homelessness Coordinator since January 2015 and helped complete the strategic planning process for the "All In" plan. She assisted the Smart Solutions to Homelessness Leadership Council in reorganizing its structure and committees based upon the new plan, and supported its education and advocacy activities. She will be bringing much of the core principles of "smart solutions" with her in her new role as she works closely with the County Homeless Services Coordinator, the Homeless Action Partnership, the service community, and people impacted by homelessness in developing and implementing the countywide coordinated entry system. The United Way is seeking a new Community Organizer, so please share this job description with your networks.

For more information about this job click here

United Way
United Way

United Way of Santa Cruz County | 4450 Capitola Road, Suite 106 | PO Box 1458 | Capitola | CA | 95010