Experiencing Homelessness

If you are experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County and are looking for a permanent place to call home, the first step is to complete a Smart Path Assessment (sometimes called the VI-SPDAT or Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool). To find out where you can complete an assessment, please visit one of the Access Points listed below, or call 2-1-1.  You can also listen to a recorded message, in English and Spanish, detailing current Access Points contacts by calling (831) 454-4122.

By completing the assessment, you will potentially be considered for multiple housing assistance programs throughout the county. Through Smart Path, scarce housing resources are prioritized based on medical and social vulnerability as determined by the assessment. You will also be linked to available non-housing resources, such as meals, showers, medical care, and government benefits.

After completing the assessment, you will be contacted if there is a housing program match available that meets you or your household’s needs.

Smart Path to Housing and Health is not a housing program or a guarantee of shelter or housing. Smart Path works to coordinate community housing resources and make the process quicker and easier for you.

If you are in imminent danger, call 9-1-1.

If you need immediate help regarding a domestic violence situation, call the Monarch Services 24-hour Crisis Hotline at (888) 900-4232.

If you are not in imminent danger but need immediate mental health crisis support, call Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health at (800) 952-2335.

Additional resources for individuals and families experiencing homelessness can be found by following this link.

Further information about community resources may be located by calling 2-1-1, or by visiting the Santa Cruz Public Libraries’ Community Information Database.

In order to complete a Smart Path Assessment, please visit or contact one of the Access Points listed below. If you need transportation assistance, please contact 5-1-1, or utilize the links to Santa Cruz Metro and Cruz511.

Smart Path Access Points

Encompass Community Services – Transition Age Youth Program
530 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Se Habla Español
Assessments for persons age 18-24 only:
Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Families in Transition
406 Main Street, Suite 326, Watsonville, CA 95076
Se Habla Español
Assessments for families and single adults 18-24 years old only:
Wednesdays from 1 to 3 PM

Homeless Services Center
115 B Coral Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 458-6020
Se Habla Español

Adult Assessments are provided Mondays through Fridays, 1 PM to 4 PM.  Call, text, or email Brian Lands, Assessment Specialist, at (831) 350-1106 or blands@santacruzhsc.org for an appointment.  Appointments can also be obtained at the Homeless Services Center Safety Kiosk from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM.
Family Assessments are provided Tuesdays 1 PM to 3 PM at the Rebele Family Shelter.  Please bring photo ID for each adult member of the family.

Mental Health Client Action Network (MHCAN)
1051 Cayuga Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
(831) 469-0462
Assessments provided
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays from 9 AM to 2 PM

Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Downtown Branch
224 Church St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 427-7707
Assessments provided
Tuesdays from 1 PM to 3 PM
Thursdays from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Fridays from 10 AM to 12 PM

Veterans Resource Center
1658 Soquel Drive, Suite B, Santa Cruz, CA 95065
(831) 477-7515
Assessments provided for non-veterans and veterans
Mondays from 1 PM to 4 PM
Fridays from 9 AM to 12 PM

Salvation Army Day Center
104 Grant Street, Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 724-3922
Assessments offered for all drop-in Day Center users
Mondays-Fridays 9am to 4pm

You may also view or download a copy of our Access Points list in English here or in Spanish here (last updated 4/25/2019)