Community Action Agency of Santa Cruz County assistance programs.

There are several non-profits as well as the Community Action Agency that support low income qualified families, immigrants, seniors and others in Santa Cruz County. A number of services are available to residents of the region, including immigrants and the homeless. They range from food to emergency rent help and of course job training.

Staff from the agency or its partners are focused on the least fortunate. They work to help families get back on track, and offer short term emergency assistance in the meantime. Some more information on some of the services available is below. There is also a referral line at the bottom of this page for more information.

Housing, rent, and cash assistance programs

For those who find themselves homeless and in need of shelter, the community action non-profit agency can help with this as well. There are a few shelters and short term housing facilities available in the area, including in nearby towns as well.

There is a shelter in Santa Cruz California. This is often the first step to both transitional as well as permenant housing placement. Some of the other options for the home include there is also a shelter located in Watsonville for the homeless, veterans, or people close to eviction.




They both provide 8 hours a day, and 5 days a week information on when these services can be used. The staff from the community action agency also work with a variety of other shelter providers in the County. The homeless can also learn from the non-profit agency or its partners about resources that may help with paying security deposits or first month rent, including loan programs.

The rent and mortgage payment assistance program from Community Action Agency of Santa Cruz County helps low income households who have children. There is also support for households without children. The program is available if one of the family members is temporarily or permanently disabled and cannot work. Additional financial assistance may be offered for rent or a mortgage payment if a member of the household is 60 years of age or older.





The main purpose of the program is to prevent eviction from an apartment or stop a foreclosure. The rent or mortgage assistance is not to help move you into a new home. If you need assistance with paying a security deposit to move into a new home call the Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County at 831-454-9455. Presently the program has funding for all areas of Santa Cruz County except for households located in the cities of Watsonville and Scotts Valley.

The main purpose of the CalWORKs Emergency Payment Program (CEPP) is to provide emergency cash payments for services to low income qualified families. Case managers from the Community Action Agency or the local human service office will also advocate on behalf of CalWORKS participants who are seeking to reach educational or employment goals. You must be, in order to receive benefits from this program, you must already be enrolled in, or apply to CalWORKs.

The services that this program offers are as follows. It will provide referrals to government programs and guidance for participants who are dealing with service providers, merchants, landlords, etc. Clients of CEPP can get help to negotiate leases, contracts and other service agreements. The Santa Cruz County community action agency can provide details on this service.

Participants of the CalWORKs Emergency Payment Program will also receive information about other local resources such as food banks or legal aid. There is also information on financial aid, such as rental and energy bill assistance programs, security deposit resources and consumer advocacy services. They can also learn about benefits offered by the state of California or the federal government. This program can even do emergency supportive service payments as authorized by CalWORKs staff.

The Community Action Agency of Santa Cruz County also offers a Transitional Housing Program. This was created to help women who are in need of some place to live. It will assist them for whatever reason they need it in a stable and safe housing where they will receive the social support, financial aid and other benefits they need. It can provide them the time and stability they need to rebuild their lives and become productive members of the community.

The main purpose of the Davenport Resource Service Center (DRSC) is to develop the community of Santa Cruz County’s rural North Coast. The Center provides a number of resources to those residents that qualify. It serves as an advocate, a place for referrals, and a source of support for the area’s multi ethnic and low-income population.




Through emergency and prevention services, the DRSC Center attempts to strengthen the ability of all North Coast residents regardless of age, race, or religion. They can get help in finding support, applying for government benefits and in general learn how to thrive in their community.

Homeless families from the Santa Cruz County area may be able to qualify for free motel vouchers or help in applying for a security deposit. These may be made available by Community Action Agency of Santa Cruz County or its partner charities for homeless families or individuals who are in emergency medical situations which threaten their health and/or safety. In addition to the homeless, people who are currently in the hospital and in need of a motel or hotel voucher can get a referral to The Shelter Project from the hospital social workers.

Persons or families who are living in a car, ill or living on the street or an emergency shelter will receive referrals from the Homeless Person’s Health Project. Call 454-2080 for information. Residents who have AIDS, a serious medical condition, or HIV can receive a referral from The Santa Cruz AIDS Project.

Additional services from Community Action Board

Gemma is a not for profit program administered by the non-profit agency and its partners. It offers services to women of Santa Cruz County California who have been incarcerated and that are now leaving jail or prison. The program and the case managers that are part of it can help them build a strong, secure, safe and structured re-entry back into society.

The main purpose of Gemma is to assist women and help them successfully reintegrate and become contributing members of the community after incarceration. Gemma then transforms these women who participate in the program through education and employment. It will empower them through, among other things, a skill-building support network. A key goal is to help prevent them from going back to prison.

The goal of the Day Worker Center, also known as DWC, is to help day laborers and immigrants in the region. Case managers from the Community Action Agency in Santa Cruz County help low income laborers secure safe employment, improve wages, learn new job skills, and become more involved members of the community.





The DWC Center makes things easier for the employment of day laborers in a safe hiring hall space. They use a process that is very organized and uses dignity. The program is made available with the help of a workers council. They run the Center and it is also supported by a number of local social service agencies and charities. The Center's services are available to income qualified workers throughout the County of Santa Cruz.

The Santa Cruz County Immigration Project, also called SCCIP locally, has a goal to promote the well-being of the immigrant community in Santa Cruz County, and the greater Pajaro Valley. They do this by assisting immigrants in becoming legal citizens. Staff word to make U. S. citizenship easily available to those who are eligible.

Among the other services offered by the Community Action Agency of Santa Cruz County, they provide a competent and advocacy program, professional legal service and also arrange community education and information. Being in a new and different situation can be difficult, as it can be a sometimes hostile federal immigration system. So to help in this case, SCCIP tries to be a source of hope and a welcome alternative. This will assist immigrant families achieve long term stability and success.

Some of the specific legal services they provide are the following: renewals for lost or old green card, petitions for family members, help on completing applications for U. S. citizenship, assistance with consular processing, and TPS - Temporary Protected Status. In addition to that, the Immigration Project can also assist with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applications, VAWA Violence Against Women Act applications for immigrant victims of domestic abuse, and even Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) applications for undocumented children.

The wide array of programs from the Immigration Project are also available to immigrant groups, charities and social service agencies across Santa Cruz and other parts of California. It is available for community education and workshops about immigration. All of their services are free to those that qualify for aid. Donations are also appreciated by the non-profit organization though.

The mission of the WVP - Women Ventures Project is to provide women with the skills, information and support that they need to find a job and/or attain a living wage. This can include nontraditional green and higher wage employment.

The services they offer as part of WVP are employment training sessions throughout the year. Job placement, career counseling and retention assistance, along with comprehensive case management services, are provided to graduates of the various training sessions. If you are a low-income Santa Cruz County woman over the age of 18, contact the Community Action Agency of Santa Cruz County for details. Or feel free to call the Women Ventures Project directly for more information about their services.

Juvenile and adult offenders can get help from the Community Restoration Project (CRP). The main purpose is to provide reintegration back into the community for these offenders through mentorship, employment, advocacy, and even community building. CRP also serves other low income or qualified at risk peoples who experience multiple barriers to employment.

CRP is in a unique position to deliver a number of benefits to those that qualify. They can assist by offering effective training, employment, and access to life changing services to those who have been incarcerated or struggling youth.

The staff and case managers from Community Restoration Project recognize that sustained rehabilitation requires a number of intervention strategies. Knowing this, CRP and the Santa Cruz Community Action Agency offer case management and leadership services. These different resources can support both youth and adults in their change from clients of the probation system to confident persons on a path to long term self-sufficiency.





These services are offered through a variety of assistance programs. Some examples of them include an Evening Center Program, free Job Training and Mentorship Program, WIA/Sueños Collaborative, and Weekend Work Project.

The larger Santa Cruz region is supported by the offices of the Community Action Agency. There are also many other partner agencies in the county too. They all work together to offer some or all of the services referenced above, and the best intake number is to dial 211 as referrals will be given.


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