Homelessness in Santa Cruz County

As is true everywhere, homelessness in Santa Cruz County is a complex and challenging reality, with many causes, many impacts on the community, and many faces.

Homelessness Programs in Santa Cruz County

Local Programs Helping People Experiencing Homelessness

Read the Santa Cruz County Community Strategic Plan to Prevent, Reduce, and Eventually End Homelessness, “All In- Toward A Home For Every County Resident”.

Find information on County Programs addressing homelessness at www.sccoplanning.com/PlanningHome/Housing/County-WideHomelessPrograms.aspx

2015 Santa Cruz County Homeless Census and Survey

Every two years, communities across the country conduct counts of their homeless population in order to gain a better understanding of the current homelessness in their community, and to apply for federal funding for homeless programs. Santa Cruz County has worked in conjunction with Applied Survey Research (ASR) to conduct the Santa Cruz County Homeless Census and Survey for adults, families and unaccompanied children every two years, since 2001.

A few key data points from the 2015 study:

  • 1,964 people experience homelessness on any given day in Santa Cruz County, which is a 44% decrease from 2013
  • 69% are unsheltered, living on the street, in parks, encampments, vehicles, or other places not meant for human habitation
  • 84% became homeless while living in Santa Cruz County
  • 53% have a disabling condition
  • 8% are Veterans
  • 14% are unaccompanied children or youth under the age of 25

View the complete report
View the executive summary

For comparison, you may review the 2013 Homeless Census and Survey.