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Downtown Streets Team, Inc.

Downtown Streets Team

Organization Mission

Downtown Streets Team is ending homelessness by restoring the dignity and rebuilding the lives of unhoused men and women. Serving the community through work teams prepares members for permanent employment and housing.

The Big Idea:
Downtown Streets Team: Santa Cruz

Downtown Streets Team engages homeless men and women to be a part of the solution to homelessness. Simply by participating in constructive and meaningful volunteer work in the community, our Team Members open the door to productive dialogue about homelessness with stakeholders such as business owners, elected officials, city staff, public safety officers, residents and visitors. We hope to create positive change in the way that homelessness is addressed in Santa Cruz by changing the way we think and talk about it.

Team Members receive case management, employment counseling, and a basic needs stipend in exchange for volunteering up to 20 hours per week beautifying downtown, the San Lorenzo River Riverwalk, and Main and Cowell beaches. These stipends ensure Team Members can obtain their basic needs without resorting to panhandling.

DST has been helpful in giving me the first steps toward building my resume, helping with my social security, and with medical needs. The Team has boosted my morale, giving me good team work experiences and has helped my social anxiety. I feel more productive like I’m actually giving something in return to this community. I feel DST is needed in all towns! -Lenny “White Owl” Henry, 56.