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Homelessness Facts

15% of homeless individuals in Santa Cruz County are living in families with children under the age of 18

11% of the local homeless population are veterans of the U.S. Military

Other Volunteer Opportunities


180/180 is county-wide effort in Santa Cruz to help 180 homeless men, women and families turn their lives around. We've joined the national 100,000 Homes Campaign and have a goal to house 180 of our most vulnerable, long-term homeless individuals by July 2014, moving them into permanent housing with the support services they need to stay housed.

To learn more, and to find out how you can help:

St. Francis Soup Kitchen

Hunger is a daily challenge for the homeless and needy in Santa Cruz. The St. Francis Soup Kitchen and Jesus, Mary and Joseph Home feed and care for the poorest in our community. A hearty daily lunch is served at the "Kitchen" with special care to serve our guests with kindness. Jesus, Mary and Joseph Home (JMJ) is a facility in Santa Cruz that provides shelter for women and children in need. These two programs are the focus of our mission: to serve the poor.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Food preparation
Wait staff
Food distribution
Washing & drying dishes

Busing of tables
Office assistance

Children's workshops
Donation drives
Life skills support

Contact Information:

St. Francis Soup Kitchen -
205 Mora Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Homeless Services Center

The Homeless Services Center is dedicated to the coordinated provision of services for homeless persons. The goal of the Homeless Services Center is to provide both emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals and families that will enable our clients to achieve self-sufficiency.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Clothing room supervisor
Day center assistent and greeter
Family shelter front desk and greeter
Shelter room cleaner 
Food pantry organizer 

Mail room assistant
Afterschool enrichment program 
Meal server
Day center activities coordinator
Empowerment center volunteer
Maintenance assistant

Contact Information:

HSC Santa Cruz -
115 Coral Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831.458.6020 x1104

Homeless Garden Project

The Homeless Garden Project provides job training and transitional employment to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The programs offer trainees an opportunity to rebuild and develop basic life skills and a sense of worth as human beings.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Helping out in our farm kitchen

Flower harvest and making CSA bouquets
Building a winter greenhouse
Clearing beds for new crops


Contact Information:

Homeless Garden Project -
30 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831.426.3609 x0

Second Harvest Food Bank

Second Harvest works to end hunger and malnutrition by educating and involving the community. Through our network of 200 agencies and programs and their 3,000 volunteers, we distribute over 7.2 million pounds of food annually to working poor families, children, and seniors.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Saturday sorts
Food drives
Distribution desk

Garden project
Events & fundraising
Passion for produce distribution

USDA distribution
Food for children

Contact Information:

Second Harvest Food Bank -
800 Ohlone Parkway, Watsonville, CA 95076
831.722.7110 x205