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County of Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors to discuss a shelter expansion

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CALIF. (KION-TV)- The County of Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors will discuss an expansion of funding to support a year-round service-enriched shelter bed system to help reduce homelessness in the county.

With voters approving Measure K, the Board will consider a model that will use additional County general fund dollars to sustain a planned expansion of the County’s growing shelter network. The investment would provide funding to help the County and their partners’ efforts to create three low-barrier, service-enriched shelters across the county.

Also involved with the topic, the County would invest $1 million annually in Measure K revenues toward an expanded shelter system. The Board will also direct staff to bring back options for using a portion of funding that's available through the Collective of Results and Evidence-based (CORE) Investments funding process to invest in shelter beds, and help reduce the impacts of homelessness.

On top of speaking about Measure K, the board will also consider an update to the Housing for Health Partnership’s Housing for a Healthy Santa Cruz Strategic Framework.

Even though the most recent Santa Cruz County Point-In Time Count showed a 22 percent reduction in homelessness in the community under the prior Strategic Framework, the important goals for temporary sheltering hasn't been met according to officials.

The new proposed Strategic Framework include steps based on the community's input during meetings held in February. This includes increasing the availability of a low-barrier, service-enriched, shelter.

Some new upcoming shelter projects will include a 34-unit bridge housing site in Live Oak, a 34-bed South County facility in partnership with the city of Watsonville and County of Monterey, and plans for a 100-bed facility at the Coral Street campus in partnership with the city of Santa Cruz, Housing Matters and Santa Cruz County Health Services.

Once the projects are fully funded, this would expand local shelter capacity by more than 150 beds according to the county.

The Board of Supervisors will discuss these items at their next board meeting on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m..

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Karl Cooke

Karl Cooke is a Multimedia Journalist for KION News Channel 46

Briana Mathaw


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