Our Services

Adult & Long Term Care

Senior Smiling

We protect and care for the disabled and elderly.

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Employment & Benefits

Woman and child buying fruit

We provide services and benefits to low-income adults and families.

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Family & Children

Dad and baby on beach

We protect children from abuse and neglect to keep them safely at home.

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Foster Care & Adoptions

Happy Children in Nature

We work with families who want to foster and/or adopt children in need of a safe home.

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IHSS Public Authority

Woman being cared for

We work with caregivers who provide in-home supportive services (IHSS) as part of the IHSS registry.

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Veterans Services

A soldier with his family

We assist veterans, military retirees, and their families in obtaining benefits earned by military service.

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Workforce SCC

Worker with hard hat

A local partnership that serves job seekers and businesses.

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California's COVID-19 Rent Relief program

The California COVID-19 Rent Relief program, which is administered by the California Housing and Community Development Department, launched on Monday, March 15th.  See the County of Santa Cruz press release for additional information. This program can assist tenants who have unpaid rent with up to 1 year of relief, does not jeopardize other federal or state benefits, and will initially prioritize individuals with incomes below 50% of area median income.  Both tenants and landlords can apply and the application portal is live. Applicants may apply by visiting HousingIsKey.com.   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.


Applying for Benefits During COVID-19

We understand your medical needs and food assistance is a priority for you and your family. To assist you in applying for public assistance benefits such as CalFresh, Medi-Cal, General Assistance, or CalWORKs, we developed the following guides:

EBSD Guide to Benefits - English (PDF, 459 KB)

EBSD Guide to Benefits - Spanish (PDF, 483 KB)

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 business by phone or electronically when possible.  

While visiting our offices, residents will be asked to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing and should stay home if they have been sick or have a fever. Medical screening may occur at some buildings. Residents should also expect limits on the number of persons in lobbies, protective screens at public counters, additional signage, and other measures to protect the health and safety of residents and staff. 

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:

Electronically: Mybenefitscalwin.org          Mysantacruzcounty mobile app             Getcalfresh.org

Phone: 1-888-421-8080

Mail: P.O. Box 1320, Santa Cruz CA  95061

COVID-19 Information and Updates

Image that displays the words Coronavirus Information

For local information on COVID-19, go to www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, call 211 or text “COVID19” to 211211. Residents may also call (831) 454-4242 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Great Plates Delivered!

*GREAT PLATES DELIVERED meal program ends July 9, 2021. Referrals will be accepted until July 1, 2021.

HSD and its partners seek to help older adults remain home and healthy during the public health crisis by providing up to 3 meals a day from local businesses.

Who qualifies for the program?

Individuals who are 65 or older (or 60-64 at high-risk *) and

  • Live alone or with one other program-eligible adult;
  • Are not currently receiving assistance from other state or federal nutrition assistance programs (e.g. CalFresh, Meals on Wheels);
  • Annual income does not exceed $74,940 (single) or $101,460 (2-person); and
  • Cannot currently prepare or obtain meals.

How do I apply for the program if I believe I may qualify?

Provide your full name, phone, date of birth, and preferred language on a confidential voice mail or send the information to the secure email below.

Santa Cruz Great Plates Delivered Message Line (831) 454-4406


HSD staff will contact you for a free screening to confirm if you qualify.

This is a program of the Human Service Department of Santa Cruz County, in partnership with local community based organizations, and is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State of California with local support from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.

CZU August Lightning Complex Fires Resources

The Human Services Department continues to be open and providing services during both the public health crisis and the wildfire evacuations. For local wildfire and evacuation information, please visit the CZU August Lightning Complex Fires Information and Resources County webpage