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Housing Matters

Organization Mission

Housing Matters partners with individuals and families to create pathways out of their homelessness into permanent housing. We hold firmly to a vision that homelessness in Santa Cruz County should be rare, brief, and non-recurring.

Housing Matters offers services to nearly 3,000 individuals on their pathway to permanent housing in Santa Cruz County annually. This includes 160 adults and kids sleeping in our emergency shelters on our campus on any given night, receiving three meals a day, plus support in getting back home from expert staff and compassionate volunteers. Last year, Housing Matters connected more 332 adults and kids experiencing homelessness in our community with stable, permanent housing.

The Big Idea 2024:
Renovation of "The Nook"

People experiencing homelessness in Santa Cruz County have few options for places to charge their devices, use wifi, or just rest awhile, and even fewer choices that are dry, safe, and don’t require a purchase.

When the library system closed during the pandemic, we set aside space on our campus to meet this need and called it “The Nook.” Even now, The Nook is more popular than ever, with 11,339 visits in the past 12 months from 1,131 unique individuals. To meet demand, the Nook needs to be expanded so more people can have a quiet, clean, healing space where they feel welcome and comfortable.

Currently, the Nook can host 12 individuals with 20 outlets available for device charging. In a world where we communicate mainly through electronic devices, folks need to correspond with landlords, case managers, housing navigators, and other key service providers. Our redesigned Nook will accommodate more individuals, increased seating and additional outlets for charging devices.

We will also improve access to valuable resources, including a community bulletin board, informative brochures tailored to our day services guests, and meeting space for guests to work on housing goals with their case managers. A roadmap to attaining housing will be featured with a wall wrap that outlines five essential steps to securing housing. A green wall design inspired by the hexagonal shape of honeycombs will represent the importance of community for bees and for humans.

Your gift will create a place of serenity for people who do not yet have the opportunity to create a place of their own.

I was housed by Housing Matters during the rainy winter of 2023. I was sitting on my back porch watching and noticed I didn’t like the feeling of being outside. For the first time in what felt like forever, I had the choice to go inside and watch the rain come down. I was on the inside looking out. And I'm like, I'm not out there anymore, I'm not out there anymore.

Pauline, Santa Cruz