Homeless Services Center

Founded in 1986, Homeless Services Center practices effective solutions that create a pathway to housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County. Homeless Services Center’s programs focus on moving individuals and families out of homelessness into stable housing.

  • Daytime Essential Services Center
  • Paul Lee Loft
  • Rebele Family Shelter
  • Page Smith Community House
  • Recuperative Care Center

Current News

Monica Martinez is stepping down from her position as the Executive Director of the Homeless Services Center (HSC) to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer at Encompass Community Services. Monica has served as the executive leader of HSC for the past four years, bringing transformative change to the organization and making it a leader in implementing evidence-based practices to decrease homelessness in Santa Cruz County. Her new role at Encompass will strengthen the ongoing collaborative relationship between HSC and Encompass to provide proven solutions to end homelessness.

Claudia Brown, Chair of the HSC Board remarked, “We feel incredibly lucky to have had the inspirational leadership of Monica, which has allowed Homeless Services Center to move to the forefront of smart solutions to end homelessness. With Monica’s new position as CEO of Encompass, we believe HSC will become even stronger as we continue to build our partnership with Encompass, providing additional momentum for positive change in Santa Cruz County that will help reduce and end homelessness.”

Reflecting on her tenure at Homeless Services Center, Monica said, “I have worked tirelessly to strategically align HSC operations with best practices based on nationally-recognized “Housing First” solutions that create a pathway to housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to make a difference and know that in my new position I will be able to continue to advocate and create change for the most marginalized individuals in Santa Cruz County.”

Monica says she will continue to serve on the 180/180 initiative steering committee and the Smart Solutions leadership board, collaborating to craft approaches that will help turn off the running ‘faucets’ leading to homelessness while advocating for new housing solutions for the chronically homeless.

Shelley McKittrick, HSC Director of Programs, commented that, “Monica is a change-agent who brought the “Housing First” paradigm to HSC and has developed strong coalitions fighting for the right for all individuals to obtain housing. We look forward to finding a new Executive Director who will continue to move both HSC and Santa Cruz County towards evidence-based solutions to end homelessness.”

Homeless Services Center will conduct a national search for a new executive director to continue the momentum Martinez started. McKittrick and Director of Operations, Alyssa Willett, will work closely with HSC Board leadership to ensure a smooth transition. HSC is strongly positioned to continue and expand on its work through its talented and dedicated staff and Board of Directors, strong financial position, and proven leadership in housing individuals experiencing homelessness.

    Make a Difference at HSC!

    Do you have any extra coffee grounds or beans? We serve 200 breakfasts every day and like to offer something hot to drink in the cold winter mornings

    See what other items are on our general Spring 2014 Wish List

    Check out our Wish List for the Family Shelter on Amazon -- educational toys, art supplies, games, and day planner calendars to support children and families experiencing homelessness

    The Recuperative Care Center Wish List is a program-specific wishlist for items needed at RCC, which features 12 beds for homeless patients in need of a place to recover after being discharged from local hospitals.

    Sign up for our eNewsletter to stay updated with the goings-on at Homeless Services Center; use the link on the top right-hand side of any page of our website!

    Take a look at our Top 10 Ways to Get Creative in Your Support of HSC

    Video for Recuperative Care Center Ribbon Cutting

    Check out our new video from the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Recuperative Care Center. The RCC is a 12-bed program that works to reduce the number of hospital days, re-admissions, and emergency medical services for medically vulnerable homeless individuals in Santa Cruz County, saving lives and money.

    Not the Other:
    Oral Histories of People Experiencing Homelessness

    Check out their newly launched website at www.oralhistoriesproject.org The website features videos, photos, and text narratives that give voice and presence to the wide diversity of people who are experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz Our homeless neighbors' personal and candid stories show the dignity, vulnerability, resilience, resourcefulness, struggles, and courage of the people who live on the streets of our town.

    Next phases of Not the Other:
    • Photo Exhibit: Santa Cruz Public Library, 224 Church Street, downtown Santa Cruz, California. Opens April 1 through June 28. The First Friday Opening is Friday, April 4 from 5:30-8:00pm.
    • Presentations to community organizations, groups, churches, clubs, or workplaces by project director Annette March. February-June, 2014.
    • Theater Performance June, 2014
    • Book, forthcoming



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