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County board considering shelter funding expansion

Briana Mathaw

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV)- On Tuesday the Santa Cruz county board of supervisors will be consider expanding its funding for homeless shelter programs.

The voters in Santa Cruz county approving measure k, the county says they can now move forward with talks to expand funding for its homeless shelter programs.

On Tuesday, county supervisors would have to sign off on the funding worth a million dollars a year.

Santa cruz county, according to today is the most expensive rental market in the country," director of housing for health division for Santa Cruz county Robert Ratner said. "People need to have four full-time jobs at the average wage to be able to afford a two bedroom apartment, so one person really can do that."

The county says the high cost of living is what is leaving some people with no choice but to live in shelters or on the streets.

The goal with the potential funding is to expand the capacity of the county's shelter beds for the homeless and more shelter locations.

The new shelter project includes a 43-unite bridge housing site in live oak, a 34-bed south county with the city of Watsonville and plans for a 100-bed facility at the Coral street campus which could later expand by more than 150 beds.

“Other locations that we’re really trying to support have existing shelters and Santa Cruz," Ratner said. "We want to improve the actual layout of the property and expand capacity there, so we’ve applied for another encampment resolution grant, we’re gonna likely apply for some other grants for that site as well.” 

The property at 125th Coral street will be a site where the city will focus planning for a new navigation center and shelter.

"We’ve got to find ways to help people increase their income and reduce the housing cost for folks,” Ratner said.

The county will discuss this during their board of supervisors meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

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Briana Mathaw


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