The Human Services Department strengthens our community by protecting the vulnerable, promoting self-sufficiency, alleviating poverty and improving the quality of life of all county residents.

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Ride the METRO Route 78 Bus to the New South County Government Services Center, Fare Free!

 The County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department has partnered with METRO to provide route 78, FARE-FREE, to and from 500 Westridge Drive, the new South County Government Services Center in Watsonville. Route 78 is now operating and will be free to ride for all people accessing services, until June of 2025!
To access Route 78 schedules and timing, CLICK HERE.

South County Government Services Center, Officially Open!


Human Services Department Staff Graduate Bay Area Social Services Consortium’s 2024 Executive Development Program!

Professional development is a cornerstone of HSD’s staff training opportunities, as professional development ultimately improves our customer service. Congratulations to HSD Senior Analysts Sara Harb and Elizabeth Byrd for completing this intensive program, and gaining skills and insights about meaningful change that will help our department better serve our community. CLICK HERE to learn about the Bay Area Social Services Consortium.

County Releases CORE Investments RFP for Funding Cycle 2025-2028 on June 3, 2024

County Human Services Department's Watsonville Offices Have Moved

No longer at its former 18 West Beach Street location, on Monday, May 20, 2024, the County’s Human Services Department began providing its full array of in-person services from the new South County Government Services Center at 500 Westridge Drive in Watsonville. The new Services Center in Watsonville is now open to the public from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday for in-person employment services, public benefits assistance, and other social services supports. The public may also access the 1-888-421-8080 phone lines for benefits inquiries, and the Human Services Department offices on Emeline Avenue in Santa Cruz will remain open for North County residents.

County Board of Supervisors and Santa Cruz City Council Approve CORE Investments RFP for Funding Cycle 2025-2028 on 4/30/2024

 Housing for Health Partnership Secures Additional Funding

More than $9 million in federal and State Homekey Program funds have been awarded to support permanent supportive housing projects, rental subsidies and youth transitional housing across Santa Cruz County.

SCHOLARSHIP ALERT! Apply for a Path to Success Scholarship!

You may be eligible for one of 32 available scholarships, worth $4,500 each! These scholarships, offered in partnership between Workforce Santa Cruz County and Cabrillo College, will allow a diverse range of Cabrillo College students to enroll in an exciting certificated program in a high-demand field. For more information:

NEW! Medi-Cal for All Expansion of Coverage!

Effective January 1st, 2024, Medi-Cal citizenship requirements have been eliminated to allow more Californians to qualify for full coverage. Adults ages 26 through 49 can now qualify for full scope Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration status (all other Medi-Cal eligibility rules, including income limits, still apply). More Information:

NEW! Retroactive CalFresh Replacements for Stolen Benefits!

If your CalFresh benefits were stolen on or after 10/1/2022, you may be eligible for retroactive benefit replacements! CalFresh recipients who were victims of electronic theft between October 1, 2022 through November 30, 2023 must complete a Report of Electronic Theft Form (EBT 2259) by February 29, 2024 to be eligible to receive retroactive benefit replacements. Cardholders may be eligible to receive retroactive replacements for any of the following reasons:


  • The cardholder did not file an EBT 2259 form,
  • An EBT 2259 was previously submitted and denied for not meeting reporting requirements, or
  • The cardholder was previously provided with only one month’s worth of benefit replacements but had lost more than that amount.

NEW! Enhanced Security for EBT Card Holders

EBT Cardholders now have a new tool to better protect your account and benefits — the new “ebtEDGE”! This mobile app and cardholder portal gives EBT users new security features:

  • Manage/change your PIN whenever and as often as needed
  • Card “freeze/unfreeze” to lock and unlock card access as needed
  • Transaction blocking for out-of-state use or for internet purchases
  • Request a replacement if your card is compromised, damaged, lost, or stolen
  • Biometrics access with touch ID or facial recognition to securely log in

The ebtEDGE mobile application is available and ready to download! Go to the Apple App Store for iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android devices and download the application today! Need more info? Download this flyer or visit for more information in English and Spanish.

County Holiday Observances

Please view 2024 County Holiday Schedule Here.

Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Resources

  • Check the forecast regularly at the National Weather Service report for Santa Cruz County to stay informed on weather conditions.
  • Sign up for CodeRed at and download the CodeRed app for your phone.
  • Santa Cruz County, disaster preparedness/recovery resources related advice to prepare for potential disaster events Santa Cruz County Office of Response, Recovery & Resilience
  • Most importantly, you should always have an emergency kit, including food, water, and a plan! Emergency disasters can disrupt power, transportation, and other lifelines. Find more preparedness tips Here.
  • If told to evacuate, please do so immediately. Find your zone through ZoneHaven-Aware.

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