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Year-round Emergency Homeless Services 
The County and the Cities of Watsonville and Santa Cruz continue to work on solutions to address the over 80% of the homeless population who do not have access to year-round emergency shelter in our community. In an effort to do so, the Homeless Action Partnership and the County Homeless Services Coordination Office (HSCO) have expanded year-round emergency shelter services that are currently being provided by The Salvation Army and funded by the State's Homeless Emergency Aid Program and California Emergency Solutions and Housing. The contract with The Salvation Army also includes year-round North County shelter services, with an increase of 228 total shelter nights, from 137 to 365, at 1721 Laurel Street and an increase of 199 nights at the 1220 River Street location, from 75 to 274, in fiscal year 2019-20. Eligible shelter guests at both of these locations include single adults and families with children. Single women, families with children, and adults with mobility challenges will be prioritized. There will be no winter shelter program services at the Live Oak VFW on 7th Avenue this year or at any other location in the county. Additionally, the Association of Faith Communities is operating two programs that include the Safe Spaces Parking program and Faith Community Shelter. The Safe Spaces Parking program currently provides safe parking for 25 cars per night, serving approximately 75 people. The Faith Community Shelter program provides 40 shelter beds per night. Housing Matters, Paul Lee Loft Hygiene Trailers (formerly Homeless Services Center), continues to serve 40 people as well. Lastly, our HSCO staff continues to work with consultants from Focus Strategies who are providing technical assistance to further support homeless system planning and improvement. They have already completed their first phase of work with some interim recommendations for the County. Please see the Santa Cruz County System Assessment Baseline Final Report here.   It is anticipated that by providing health, social and housing-focused services to all shelter clients, their overall health and well-being will be improved. The goal is that these strategies will help to reduce the number of persons experiencing homelessness and also increase the efficient use of our existing shelters.
New Affordable Housing And Medical Services in Live Oak
The Board of Supervisors took action to address the housing crisis, create better accessibility for medical and dental services in Live Oak and the mid-county and set a new standard for energy efficiency. On November 5, the Board voted unanimously to approve the disposition of the nearly 4-acre site on Capitola Road, approve a project with 57 units of affordable housing, and a new larger East Cliff Family Health Center and new Dientes dental clinic. Conceived along the lines envisioned in the Sustainable Santa Cruz County Plan, this slightly denser project with mixed uses was the collaboration of Mid Pen Housing, Santa Cruz Community Health Centers, and Dientes. Rents will range from $690/month to $2,253/month depending on the number of bedrooms and the income of the family. Special considerations for all space in the housing portion will be given to people who already live or work in Santa Cruz County. Over two dozen units will be made available for people who already live in Live Oak.  The County is also working to make the project carbon neutral and even create its own microgrid for electricity  Included as part of the project will be an art installation recognizing Robert Merriam, leader of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, who lived for a time at the site. Once there is a date set for applications for the housing, I will let the community know. Thanks to the hundreds of Live Oak residents who participated in the planning of this project. It will make a huge difference in our community.
Reducing Litter One Cup AT A Time

The County took another step in reducing pollution in our community.  Building on the success of reducing single use plastic bags, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance to starting charging for single use disposable cups.  Disposable cups generate an extraordinary amount of non-recyclable trash that fills our waste stream and pollutes our environment. Our staff has estimated that there are millions of disposable cups thrown out each year in our county.  In order to encourage the use of reusable containers we are joining other jurisdictions in instituting a 25 cents fee for every disposable cup used after July 1, 2020. Research has shown that that amount serves as an incentive for people to start bringing their own cups instead of contributing to our throwaway society.  To read more about this click
here.  The board has also banned the use of single use plastic bottles at County facilities and will be looking at the issue of disposable contact lens  waste and mylar balloons in the near future.

Santa Cruz 
Thursday, November 14
5:00-7:00 p.m.
1080 Emeline Avenue
Basement Auditorium

Tuesday,  November 19
5:00-7:00 p.m.
18 Beach Street
Rooms 2 & 3

Wednesday, November 13

5:30-6:30 p.m.
People's Coffee
1200 17th Avenue 
Live Oak

Wednesday,  November 20

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Loma Prieta School Community Room
23845 Summit Road
Summit Area

Wednesday, December 4

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Porter Memorial Library
3050 Porter Street

Not paid for with County funds