Housing Resources

Refugee Camp in Northern Mexico.

Photo taken by a family of seven now safely and happily settled in Santa Cruz.

1. Tenant Sanctuary located on 703 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz CA 95060


Program Coordinator: Zav Hershfield (they/he)

phone: (831)200-0740

email: tenantsanctuarysc@gmail.com

Hosts free legal clinics for tenants. Does not provide any financial assistance.

2. Watsonville Law Center located on 315 Main Street, Suite 207, Watsonville, CA 95076

Phone: (831) 722-2845 Fax: (831) 761-3295

Tenant rights lawyer:

John Subranni

Phone number 831.406.6043

Email: jsubranni@wlc.law

Salud Para la Gente partners with WLC and refers patients to WLC for free legal help (immigration law, worker rights, tenants rights, consumer rights). They are usually at capacity for clients. If the person gets medical care at Salud, they can access free WLC legal help. John is landlord/tenant specialist and handles evictions. John pointed out the following community housing resources:

  • United Way Monterey: Administers State Housing is Key for MONTEREY RESIDENTS ONLY

  • Catholic Charities: Short-term rental assistance

  • UFW Foundation

  • Walnut Street Services : Women’s shelter, rental assistance on tapering basis

  • Project Room Key: Run through homeless shelter, housed in hotel, through Housing Matters, 115B Coral Street. For people who are or who are going to be homeless

  • Community Bridges : State Housing is Key program - online application, but CAB and Community Bridges can help navigate the program

  • CRLA: Receives federal legal aid funds so clients must have legal status

  • Senior Legal: Clients OVER 60 years

3. Community Bridges Covid19 Rental Assistance


Their Rental Assistance Program is for those having trouble paying rent due to Covid. If you’re an income eligible renter who has experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19 and have past due rent, or you’re a landlord who has experienced a loss in income because of unpaid rent, you may be eligible to get financial assistance through the Housing is Key CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program.

To qualify:

  • Are you experiencing COVID-19 related financial distress?

  • Are you behind on rent and/or utilities?

  • Do you earn at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)

4. Community Action Board Rental Assistance Program (RAP)


CAB: The Rental Assistance Program is an eviction prevention program and offers rental assistance to Santa Cruz County residents faced with an eviction notice:

  • Must be a resident of Santa Cruz County

  • Must have proof that aid will prevent eviction;

  • Must provide an eviction notice from their landlord.

  • Must have no other resources available;

  • Must meet the income guidelines as defined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

  • Must meet the Fair Market Rent guidelines.

  • Must have a lease/rental agreement.

  • Must be disabled single, elderly, or a household with children.

5. United Way of Santa Cruz


6. Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey located on 656 Main Street, Watsonville, CA 95076




Program for Santa Cruz residents is run by Laura at 831.722.2675, ext.3114.

7. St. Vincent de Paul Society


Provides financial assistance for a variety of needs through volunteers from four churches. Assistance is open to all regardless of immigration status. An applicant must first call the Need Line at (888) 245.9187. Based on the applicant’s residency, he or she leaves a name, phone number, and statement of what is needed. A volunteer returns the call and outlines the appropriate procedure.

  1. Our Lady Star of the Sea Church located on 515 Frederick Street, Santa Cruz

Serves those living in Santa Cruz east of Ocean Street, including Live Oak. Applicants usually receive assistance once a year and the maximum amount is $300. Currently, after calling the Need Line, an applicant goes to the food pantry at the church with documentation of the expense on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 10-noon. Payments are made within 3-4 days to a third party, that is, a landlord, DMV, or entity making a repair.

  1. St. Joseph’s Church located on 435 Monterey Avenue, Capitola

Serves those living in Capitola and Soquel. An applicant is eligible for assistance once a year and the maximum amount is $300. Two church members will make a home visit and an applicant must present documentation of the expense. The check to a third party will be provided that day. A landlord is also notified that he or she will be receiving a check from St. Vincent de Paul.

  1. San Augustin Church located on 257 Glenwood Drive, Scotts Valley

The amount varies and is designed to address a temporary situation. Sometimes will partner with Valley Churches United to provide a greater amount. After calling the Need Line, an applicant brings documentation to the food pantry on Wednesdays between 12 and 2 or makes other arrangements. Payments are made to a third party.

  1. St. Patrick’s Church - 721 Main Street, Watsonville

Serves those living in Watsonville, but not Pajaro Valley. The amount is designed to provide assistance to those in dire need of help, usually once a year. There is currently only one volunteer and he has a backlog of cases. He emphasized that he does not share information regarding applicants with anyone. Generally, payments are made to third parties.

8. Families in Transition


Phone number (831) 728.9791

Do seem to have rental/housing assistance “To join with other service providers in a community-wide effort to end and prevent homelessness in Santa Cruz County. Toward this end, Families In Transition works in partnership with families who are experiencing homelessness, or who are at risk of experiencing homelessness, in order to support and promote stable housing and assist them in becoming both self-reliant and interdependent members of the community.”

9. Holy Cross Church located on 210 High Street, Santa Cruz

Serves primarily Westside Santa Cruz. An applicant is eligible for assistance once a year. He or she should go to the food pantry at the church on Wednesdays from 10-2. An applicant must bring documentation of the expense and a check to a third party can be made that day.

10. Faith Community Shelter Program & Other Shelters?

11. United Farm Workers Foundation


12. Safe Parking Program

Low priority because it requires a vehicle - not applicable to our current Compas

13. Other possibilities







14. Valley Churches United located on 9400 Highway 9, Ben Lomond

Phone Number: (831) 336.8258

Serves ONLY those living in San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley, and Ben Lomond. An applicant must establish one-year residency, but there is no residency requirement for the food pantry. Financial assistance includes: emergency rent/mortgage assistance on a case-by-case basis (there is an extensive application for this assistance and is available once every three years); limited assistance for utility bills; clothing vouchers from Abbot’s Thrift Store in Felton; and limited transportation assistance which includes single-day bus passes for medical appointments or job interviews, gas vouchers for out-of-county medical appointments, and help with driver’s license renewals and car registration. An applicant should go to the food pantry with photo ID and proof of residency. The FOOD PANTRY IS OPEN: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9-noon; and Fridays 9-11 for seniors only.