Addressing Homelessness with a Proactive and Evidence-based Approach
With approval by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and based on the work of the nationally recognized consulting firm Focus Strategies, which was engaged to help examine the response to homelessness in Santa Cruz County, the following will be implemented countywide:
- Retooling of the Smart Path coordinated entry program - a system to assess homeless individuals and refer them to the most appropriate service - with a goal of more quickly moving vulnerable people into services in order to reduce the number of people who are homeless.
- Implementation of systematic diversion strategies to enable homeless individuals or those facing homelessness to utilize existing resources and networks to avoid becoming homeless.
- Revision of existing shelter strategies to maximize effectiveness and accessibility of housing resources, designed to more quickly move people from shelters into permanent housing, as well as increase the efficiency of shelters to serve more clients.
- Redesign of the delivery of street-level outreach to those experiencing homelessness, based on a new coordinated and standardized approach that brings together outreach teams and their funders to share information, methods and measurable outcomes.
- Restructuring interagency homelessness governance to more effectively and efficiently address decision-making, planning, funding and outcomes.