Santa Cruz Pallet Shelter
In April 2020, the first 15 of 30 interim shelter units opened for people experiencing homelessness in the City of Santa Cruz, CA.
- Action was taken to address the imminent threat to unsheltered population’s health and safety:
- Galvanized by the coronavirus emergency – “We recognized that we weren’t going to be able to achieve social distance in — a bunk bed is basically two feet away from the upper and lower bunk.” (quote)
- City serves as a “regional shelter center” due to lack of shelters in neighboring cities
- As in prior years, more than half of the county’s homeless population — 1,204 people — live in the city of Santa Cruz, followed by the unincorporated county and Watsonville (source)
- The percentage of homeless who report living outdoors in parks, encampments or on the street is also steadily increasing — up from 24% in 2013 to 44% in 2019.
- Martin vs. Boise case – Forces community to build adequate shelter before enforcing anti-camping laws. Case review.
Mission: Quickly provide non-congregate shelter to adjacent congregate shelter people experiencing homelessness in the City of Santa Cruz.
Owner: City-owned land leased to nonprofit on long-term basis
Previous Use: Paved parking lot
Use Arrangement: Ground lease
Site Selection Criteria Considerations: N/A
|Upfront Development*||$200k||From Santa Cruz County – see notes|
|Cost Per Bed*||$7k||30 units in total|
|Operating Costs*||$1.2 million||Santa Cruz County for one year of operations – see notes
Possible FEMA reimbursement pending
|Cost Per Bed*||$40k/year|
- For upfront development costs and one-year of operations, funding was provided from two primary funding sources: Santa Cruz County and Housing on Matter’s $250k COVID-19 Response Fund
- Santa Cruz County’s combined investment in homeless services totaled $13.1 million during the current fiscal year, with the bulk of funds spent on health and human services.
- Santa Cruz County’s Homeless Services Coordination Office budget had a $970,000 budget increase in 2019 for the county’s bringing the office’s budget up to nearly $2 million for the next fiscal year. About $590,000 of the new funds stem from Measure G, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters in November. An additional $333,000 comes from $10.6 million in one-time emergency state homelessness and housing funds allocated to the county earlier this year.
- Given the lag in timing of funding, the County has fronted the cost, without guarantee of reimbursement from FEMA funding
- Other – More than $2.6 million from the emergency state funds are set aside to purchase land for a year-round navigation center in North County, but it remains unclear when — or where — the center may be built. (source)
- Funding from other state sources – notably HHAP and HEAP – we limited.
- Units are 64 sf, less than the minimum unit size of 70 sf, which requires a conditional approval from HUD.
- Sole source vendor required waiver in procurement process
- 85-day delivery made possible due to sole source vendor, low impact site work, pre-approved shelter technology, ease of construction
|Operator||Housing Matters, a 33-year-old, Santa Cruz-based homeless services nonprofit, runs a campus that has evolved into four emergency and transitional housing shelters for nearly 230 people, a medical clinic, and a 12-bed medical respite care facility. It is Santa Cruz’s largest homeless services provider.|
|Agreement||1-year contract with City|
|Services Provided||Case Management, Logistics, Operations|