COVID-19 Homeless Services Information

Welcome to the Human Services Department’s COVID-19 informational page for homeless services providers, persons experiencing homelessness or seeking assistance with meeting basic needs,  and other interested persons. We will be updating this page frequently with current resource links and information on the Coronavirus developments and the impacts on our community.


NEW Shelter Referral Process

There is a new Shelter Referral Process to fill both isolation/quarantine shelter and the congregate shelters opening countywide. 

Please review the following for more information on the process and the actual referral form:

Please Note Updated Referral Information for Persons who or Are Confirmed or Presumed/Assumed Positive for COVID-19: To make a referral for persons that have been confirmed or a presumed/assumed COVID-19 positive and need a place to safely isolate and quarantine, please send a COVID-19 or Alternate Housing referral form both of the following e-mails: AND To do a referral by phone, please call: 831-345-8711.

Please contact the following persons to complete a Shelter Referral:

Shelter-In-Place Resources


Motel/Hotel Assistance for Families Experiencing Homelessness

The Federal government has declared a disaster situation in California due to COVID-19.  As a result of this declaration, CalWORKs recipients experiencing homelessness may be eligible for additional motel/hotel assistance regardless of whether they have received motel/hotel assistance through CalWORKs during the last 12 months:


  To qualify for the assistance families must:

  • Be eligible or apparently eligible for CalWORKs
  • Be experiencing homelessness
  • Have less than $100 in resources
  Available assistance:

  16 nights of motel/hotel assistance at the following rates:

  • $85 per night for a family of 4 and an additional $15 for every family member beyond a family of four; For example, a family of 5 would receive a nightly amount of $100, and a family of 6 would receive a nightly amount of $115
  • The total nightly amount a family can receive cannot exceed $145

If eligible, funds will be placed on families’ EBT cards the same day that the application is completed

 To receive assistance:

Contact the County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department’s Benefits offices. Please note: The County is trying to limit all unnecessary face-to-face contact and is asking customers to contact the benefits offices by phone or electronically: 

New CalWORKs Applications can be filed:


By Phone:

  • 1-888-421-8080

Homeless Assistance Applications for CalWORKs Recipients:

By Phone:

  • 1-888-421-8080

 To speed up the application process, please have the Homeless Assistance application (Form CW 42) completed prior to contacting the County

Health Care Resources

If you don’t have a health care provider, please call before going in:

  • Homeless Persons Health Project (Hours: M-Th 8am-5pm; Friday 8am-3pm); Location: 115-A Coral Street, Santa Cruz; Call: 831-454-2080 or After hours: 831-454-5146; Email: 
  • Emeline Health Center (Hours: M-F 8am-5pm); Location: 1080 Emeline Ave; Call: 831-454-4100
  • Watsonville Health Center (Hours: M-Th 7:30am-6:30pm; F 7:30-5:00); Location: 1430 Freedom Blvd, Suite C; Call: 831-763-8400
  • County Clinic After Hours (Hours: after clinic normal business hours); Call: 831-763-8227

For Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) call:

  • Homeless Persons Health Project (HPHP): 831-454-2080
  • Watsonville Health Center (WHC): 831-763-8400
  • Santa Cruz Heath Center (Emeline): 831-454-4100

Employment Resources


Eviction and Rent Non-Payment Ordinances

Local ordinances to prevent residential or commercial evictions for non-payment of rent:


Tax Information and Assistance

*To help millions of people, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for those who don’t normally file a tax return. See the fliers below:


Resources for Homeless Services Providers


Online Resources for Recovery Groups/Support


CDC Signage



County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency Coronavirus Informational webpage for updates and additional information.

If you have questions about Coronavirus/COVID-19, please call (831) 454-4242 between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm, Monday-Friday. Outside of these hours please call United Way of Santa Cruz County at 211 or text "covid19" to 211211.




Housing Is Key (003)

Are you in need of rental assistance due to the pandemic?

California COVID-19 Rent Relief will help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments. Visit the Housing Is Key website for access to the application. Assistance is also available by calling 1-833-430-2122 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily. Applications and assistance are available in multiple languages. The following community partners are assisting tenants/ landlords with the application process: 

  • Community Bridges  
  • Community Action Board (C.A.B.) 
  • Families in Transition (F.I.T) 
  • California Rural Legal Assistance 
  • United Way 211 
  • Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action (COPA) 
  • Conflict Resolution Center (CRC) 

County Press Release Rent Relief

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.  Please contact the following persons to complete an assessment over the phone:

For more information on the Smart Path Coordinated Entry System, please go to:

Weekly Shelter Providers Call

COVID-19 Homeless Services Providers Community Call

COVID-19 Press Release

Read the COVID-19 Homelessness Task Force Press Release discussing County efforts to protect health and supplement services.

Benefit Related Matters During COVID-19 Information

We understand your medical needs and food assistance is a priority for you and your family. Out of an abundance of caution, and in response to the recommendations from Public Health Officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Santa Cruz County Employment & Benefit Services walk-in customer service centers at 18W. Beach St., Watsonville and 1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz are modifying office operations to limit unnecessary Face-to-Face contact.  Customers are being asked to conduct all business by phone or electronically. All essential services continue to be provided by phone, online and by mail, while access to the walk-in service centers will be limited, in order to promote social distancing. Nearly all benefit services for Medi-Cal, CalFresh, CalWORKs, General Assistance are available remotely by mail, phone or online through the following access points:

Phone: 1-888-421-8080
Mail: P.O. Box 1320, Santa Cruz, CA  95061