Join the SSH Team: Volunteer with Smart Solutions to Homelessness!
You can volunteer with the Smart Solutions to Homelessness effort in three areas:
- Education about the realities of homelessness;
- Development of a platform of smart policies and programs to reduce and end homelessness; and/or
- Advocacy for smart solutions to homelessness.
Please contact our community organizer Maria Romero to join with us. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: (831) 465-2203.
Other Volunteer Opportunities in Santa Cruz County:
Organizations and projects with which you can volunteer are listed below, alphabetically. Their presence on this list does not signify formal “endorsement” by Smart Solutions to Homelessness. Please contact us if you would like your volunteer opportunity included on this list!
The Association of Faith Communities (AFC) is an unincorporated association of local faith communities in Northern Santa Cruz County. The Association formed to foster coordination between faith communities, to support the efforts of our members in their collective ministries to people who are homeless, living in poverty or who are in economic need, and to assist our members in enhancing the effectiveness of our individual and collective efforts.
The activities of the AFC are coordinated by our Steering Committee. Membership of the AFC and our Steering Committee are open. Fr. Joel Miller serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee. We have no paid staff. The Committee includes clergy and laity. We also enjoy regular participation by the Homeless Services Center (HSC), the City of Santa Cruz and other representatives from the greater community.
The Steering Committee meets on the first Thursday of each month at 5:00 PM in the fireside room in the parish hall at Calvary Episcopal Church. Refreshments are served. The meetings adjourn promptly at 6:30 PM.
We would be pleased to add you or a representative of your faith community to the AFC Steering Committee mailing list. Our members would welcome you or your representative at the Steering Committee.
Changing lives, building community since 1973
Their volunteer program is flexible to allow for varied interests and schedules. More information and volunteer application forms are at www.homelessgardenproject.org/getinvolved/volunteer.php.
The Homeless Services Center is dedicated to the coordinated provision of services for homeless persons. The goal of the Homeless Services Center is to provide both emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals and families that will enable our clients to achieve self-sufficiency.
For information about volunteer opportunities, please contact the Volunteer Program Coordinator) at 831-458-6020 ext. 1102 or by email at email@example.com. Read more about volunteer opportunities at the Homeless Services Center at scshelter.org/index.php?page=volunteer.
Pajaro Rescue Mission provides emergency services 365 days a year. They include:
1. Bilingual Daily Bible services
2. Shelter for up to 35 homeless men
3. Nourishing meals twice a day
4. Daily showers
5. Modern, well-ventilated dorms
The Pajaro Rescue Mission is an arm of the local church and welcomes involvement from the Christian community. They are located at 111 Railroad Ave., Parajo, CA 95076 (across the river, just south of Watsonville). Contact them at (831) 724-9576.
PV Loaves & Fishes is a community supported food pantry and kitchen located in the primarily agricultural town of Watsonville, California. They feed, serve, and support the hungry people of our community, including working poor families, migrant farm workers, and elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals. Donations are always greatly appreciated. The dollars they receive provide meals for neighbors in need. There are many "hands-on" opportunities to help in their mission. Volunteers serve in many capacities in their kitchen and pantry programs, serving on the Board of Directors, participating on fund raising and event committees, and assisting with office work and in numerous other special projects. Contact them (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about how you can get involved. Every action and every contribution makes a difference in the fight against hunger in our community.
Their mission is to assist homeless women, children and families obtain stable housing through temporary shelter and services.
Donations of all kinds help Pajaro Valley Shelter Services to be successful. Please consider supporting PV Shelter through your monetary gifts, donated items and volunteer services. For a current list of items needed or volunteer opportunities available, please call (831) 728-5649.
River Street Shelter (part of Encompass Community Services) is a 32-bed emergency shelter for homeless adult men and women. The Shelter is a beautiful art-filled homelike sanctuary, where residents feels safe and valued and are treated with respect and kindness. Breakfast and dinner are provided, movie nights happen in the cozy living room, and birthdays and holidays are celebrated. Residents pitch in to help in the running of the Shelter, and many are able to contribute skills that have not been utilized in a long time, which helps them remember they are a valuable member of the community.
Encompass Community Services has both one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities available. They post all of their volunteer needs on their VolunteerMatch account. Please check out current volunteering opportunities at http://goo.gl/VUSPc. their post new volunteer opportunities periodically so check back often. For questions/comments or to inquire further about volunteer opportunities, please contact us at commrelations@EncompassCS.org or (831) 427-5292 x 203.
Sanctuary camps are low-cost solutions to providing housing for people experiencing homelessness. There are a number of successful sanctuary camps in operation today, in cities around the U.S.
Sanctuary Camp Santa Cruz is a group of local citizens working to establish a sanctuary camp in Santa Cruz; no such camp currently exists.
From their Facebook page: "We assert that a citizen organized, community supported safe sleep sanctuary can reduce the problems associated with homelessness in the community at large and also help those who are living outside.
"Only 5% of the homeless population are in the shelter system. For pennies on the hundreds of dollars spent on this problem, there is an effective solution. We propose a Sanctuary camp that features a strong set of rules consistently enforced.
Sanctuary camps have shown positive results in many cities on the west coast.
You can learn more by viewing their video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBWhgjXrKaY. You may contact them at email@example.com.
If you need help before and after delivery Siena House is here for you. Siena House Maternity Home of Santa Cruz County in the Spirit of God's love, provides an environment of total support for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy. Services are provided both before and after delivery.
If you would like to donate, they are happy to except donations of time, money and items that are on their list of needs. All donations are tax deductible.
Feel free to call them at (831) 425-2229 for more information.
Hunger is a daily challenge for the homeless and needy in Santa Cruz. The St. Francis Catholic Kitchen and Jesus, Mary and Joseph Home feed and care for the poorest in our community. A hearty daily lunch is served at the "Kitchen" with special care to serve our guests with kindness. Jesus, Mary and Joseph Home (JMJ) is a facility in Santa Cruz that provides shelter for women and children in need. These two programs are the focus of our mission: to serve the poor.
People of all faiths come to serve and be served at the Kitchen--the only place in Santa Cruz that serves a midday meal. For over 25 years they have served Santa Cruz with the help of our dedicated volunteer workers and donors. Want to help? Call them at 831-459-6712. St. Francis Catholic Kitchen is at 205 Mora Street, in Santa Cruz.
The Shelter Project (TSP) is a project of the Community Action Board (CAB) of Santa Cruz County, and provides assistance to low income homeless people or people who are at risk of becoming homeless. The Shelter Project operates the following services for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless:
- Motel Vouchers
- Rental/Mortgage Assistance
- Shelter Hotline
- Message Center Voicemail
Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc. is always looking for volunteers to help out in a variety of different ways. Our current opportunities are listed at www.cabinc.org/volunteer. For information on all volunteer opportunities for The Shelter Project, contact Norma Sanchez, Program Coordinator, at Norma@cabinc.org or 831-457-1741, extension 130.
180/2020 is a multi-agency community initiative in Santa Cruz County, California, to help men, women, and families who have experienced long-term homelessness turn their lives around. We move them into permanent housing with the support services they need to stay housed, thereby changing lives and improving our community. Building on the success of housing over 200 people during our first 180 initiative, we've set a new goal to end chronic homelessness in Santa Cruz County by 2020. You can volunteer with 180/2020 as a housing navigator, move-in crew member or with our survey tag team. Learn more at www.180santacruz.org/?page_id=6.