The Shelter Project housing and financial support programs.

The Shelter Project administers housing assistance across Santa Cruz County. They may have financial aid, such as for paying rent or a motel voucher, as well as the coordination of short term housing in Santa Cruz County. In most cases, the client of the organization needs to show initiative and be on the path to stability and self-sufficiency. There is a hot line available from the Project, and this can provide referrals to their programs.

In an effort to assist clients that do not have any other options, or if the local shelters are full, then free motel vouchers may be distributed. The goal is to both prevent evictions and rehouse residents, including those that are vulnerable such as single parents, veterans, and the disabled.

As an example, those Santa Cruz residents that are currently in the hospital who need emergency housing are referred to The Shelter Project by social workers. The disabled, sick hurt or currently homeless individuals who are living in cars or residing at an emergency shelter, will also receive a referral from Homeless Person’s Health Project, and dial 454-2080 for details. Those homeless who may have contracted TB will receive a referral from County Communicable Disease Department, and the people living with a condition such as HIV or AIDS may get a referral from The Santa Cruz AIDS Project.

Free motel vouchers are available as well from TSP. Eligibility for access to this resource is determined by the following criteria. They include an applicant must be homeless or without steady shelter, has been hospitalized for at least one night as an inpatient or is living with a serious health conditions, and in addition, their income cannot exceed 130% of Poverty Guidelines established and defined by the State of California Department of Economic Opportunity.

For those homeless individuals, seniors or families who are facing a threat to their safety or an emergency health crisis, they may call 457-1741 for availability of motel vouchers. Referrals are made through individual circumstances as noted going forward.

When possible, emergency rental or even mortgage assistance is available. Applicants will be assessed and need to go through an intake process from individuals at the Santa Cruz and Watsonville offices. For assistance, please call the following number of 457-1741. Any grants and other funding is limited from TSP.




There is a list of criteria for individuals to meet in order to be eligible for any type of assistance from The Shelter Project. These criteria include proof of income is necessary in order to prevent eviction, applicants need a pay or quit or an eviction notice from their landlord or they need foreclosure notice from the bank/lending institution.

Any assistance is also available as a last resort, so the client can't have any other resources available to them and also their personal income must not exceed 130% of Poverty Guidelines established for households in Scotts Valley and Watsonville. However the income level can be higher if the tenant or homeowner lives in the city of Santa Cruz. Also, most of the emergency financial aid or loans is only for individuals that are disabled singles, elderly, single parents or a household with children.

The various housing assistance programs were created to prevent eviction or foreclosure and to eliminate the real threat of homelessness. As noted, the priority for the Shelter Project is for low income households with children or maybe a household without children where members are unable to work due to disability (whether temporary or permanent). There is also rent or mortgage help for senior citizens aged 60 years or older.

The program does help people move into a new home. If an individual or family is looking to move to an apartment or low income housing and wants assistance with a security deposit, please call the Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County at 831-454-9455.

There are hotlines set up by the Shelter Project. They include for individuals in Watsonville (831-728-4634) as well as people in Santa Cruz (831-457-1741). Residents of Santa Cruz County can get information on what services are available for homeless or at risk individuals. The organizations also works in conjunction with other non-profit housing providers and government agencies in Santa Cruz County. The main office is also at 501 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, California 95062.




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