This is intended to be an inclusive —though not necessarily exhaustive— list of organizations whose primary work is addressing some aspect of homelessness. The listing of an organization does not imply endorsement of the work of that organization. Please contact us if you know of an organization to include.

Santa Cruz County

  • Smart Solutions to Homelessness (that’s us!)


180/220 is making a 180 degree change to end chronic homelessness by 2020. It is a multi-agency community initiative in Santa Cruz County, CA to help men, women, and families who have experienced long-term homelessness turn their lives around. We will help them move into permanent housing with the support services they need to stay housed, thereby changing lives and improving our community. We are Building on the success of housing over 200 people.

2-1-1 Santa Cruz County is a comprehensive information and referral hotline for Santa Cruz County. Provides callers with information on local health and human services and disaster response information. It is accessible to all county residents 24 hours, 7 days a week, at no charge.

AFC is an unincorporated association of local faith communities in Northern Santa Cruz County that aims to foster coordination between faith communities, to support the efforts of our members in their collective ministries to who are living in poverty, who are in economic need, or who are homeless, and to assist our members in enhancing the effectiveness of our individual and collective efforts.

The HAP acts a collaboration of the five jurisdictions in Santa Cruz County (the County and the Cities of Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Capitola and Scotts Valley) along with homeless housing and services providers to fund activities such as winter shelter programs in both north and south Santa Cruz County and conducting a biennial homeless census and survey.

The purpose of our programs and activities is to foster connections among all the members of our community. When you visit the farm, you are likely to see a diversity of people including our social work interns, volunteers, trainees, and volunteer groups. The Homeless Garden Project would provide job-training and meaningful work in a therapeutic environment.

Homeless Services Center has 3 main program areas including Emergency and Transitional Shelters, Permanent Housing Programs, Income and Employment to support homeless families and individuals of all backgrounds.

The Jesus Mary Joseph Home (JMJ) is a shelter for homeless women, children and the terminally ill. The goal is to guide them on their road to work and permanent housing. Applicants are interviewed prior to acceptance. JMJ provides: private bedroom, clothing, food pantry, organic garden, community dinners, celebrations, computer access, children’s play area, field trips and chapel.

We are a community supported food pantry and kitchen located in the primarily agricultural town of Watsonville, California. We feed, serve, and support the hungry people of our community, including working poor families, migrant farm workers, and elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals. We provide a hot meal at mid-day Monday through Friday, year around.

The purpose of Teen Challenge Monterey Bay, is to “evangelize” people who have life-controlling problems and initiate the discipleship process to the point where the student can function as a Christian in society. We help men, women and children suffering through drug and alcohol abuse, behavioral reactions to sexual and physical abuse and other problems.

We reach out to others with our identity and life-affirming purpose by providing the Transitional Housing Program, the Emergency Shelter, and case management. The Transitional housing program consists of fifteen housing units for homeless families with a maximum allowable stay of 24 months. The Emergency Shelter for families is open 24 hours a day for a maximum of three months.

In order to provide an integrated system of care Project Homeless Connect focuses on each aspect of homelessness, providing everything from California identification and disability benefits to clean socks and a warm meal.

River Street Shelter is a 32-bed emergency shelter for homeless adult men and women. In this environment, they can begin or continue the process of rebuilding their lives, maintaining sobriety, and re-connecting with the community. Breakfast and dinner are provided, movies night happen in the cozy living room, and birthdays and holidays are celebrated.

We assert that a safe and clean place for homeless people to sleep and keep some things would be a huge improvement compared to sleeping unprotected outside. Basic dignity-creating elements include porta-pots, a dumpster, soft structure domiciles, food preparation area and access to shower and laundry facilities.

With respect for each woman’s unique circumstances, our staff, volunteers, and outside agencies work together to assist in every facet of a pregnant woman’s needs.

The Kitchen has been serving meals to the hungry in Santa Cruz for over 25 years.  Each day a hearty meal of soup, salad, bread, coffee and milk are served to over 180 people at noon.  There are an estimated 400 people who sleep outside in Santa Cruz and it’s difficult for one agency to handle all their needs.  The Kitchen is one place where those in need will find a kind welcome, food and an opportunity to rest in safety.

The Shelter Project (TSP) provides assistance to low income homeless people or people who are at risk of becoming homeless through offering motel vouchers, rental/mortgage assistance, and help with water bills.

Warming Center Program is a temporary coldest and wettest nights warming shelter. We’ve taken a strong stand that no one should have to sleep outside when it freezes. People may contact the telephone hotline when it becomes very cold, to find out when and where Warming Centers will be open.

Wings is a group of caring advocates for our community who are dedicated to supporting individuals in their walk out of homelessness.  Working with community professionals from over a dozen local agencies, Wings acts as advocates to some of the most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals in our community.  The requests we receive come directly from our partner case managers and are always centered around helping the homeless find a home and staying housed so healing can begin.

For a complete guide of Santa Cruz County organizations providing other key services for individuals experiencing homelessness please visit Project Homeless Connect.

Monterey- and San Francisco Bay Area & Statewide:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development – VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program is a joint effort between HUD and VA to move Veterans and their families out of homelessness and into permanent housing. HUD provides housing assistance through its Housing Choice Voucher Program that allows homeless Veterans to rent privately owned housing.

Housing California is the voice in the state Capitol for children, seniors, families, people experiencing homelessness, and everyone who needs a safe, stable, affordable place to call home. Since 1988, Housing California has been working to prevent homelessness and increase the variety and supply of safe, stable, accessible and permanently affordable places to live. Housing California staff accomplishes its goals through education, advocacy, and outreach.

WRAP was created to expose and eliminate the root causes of civil and human rights abuses of people experiencing poverty and homelessness in our communities. Our strategies include community organizing, advocacy, research, public education, direct action, and artwork.


The Alliance works to prevent and end homelessness through improving policy, building capacity, and educating opinion leaders. We are a leading voice on federal homelessness policy; we are providing communities with practices, how-to kits, and technical assistance to implement solutions, and are using the Homelessness Research Institute to provide the public and policy makers with viable research on trends in and solutions to homelessness.

The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to preventing and ending homelessness.

People who are currently experiencing homelessness or have formerly experienced homelessness must be actively involved in all of our work. Our programs are centered around public education, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing, and are focused on the issues of housing justice, economic justice, health care justice, and civil rights.

The Law Center is the only national legal group dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness. It works to expand access to affordable housing, meet the immediate and long-term needs of those who are homeless or at risk, and strengthen the social safety-net through policy advocacy, public education, impact litigation; and advocacy training and support. We believe all human beings have the right to a basic standard of living that includes safe, affordable housing, healthcare, and freedom from discrimination and cruelty.

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.