The Human Services Department strengthens our community by protecting the vulnerable, promoting self-sufficiency, alleviating poverty and improving the quality of life of all county residents.

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LATEST NEWS


County Human Services Department's Watsonville Services Have Moved

No longer at its former 18 West Beach Street location, on Monday, May 20, 2024, the County’s Human Services Department began providing its full array of in-person services from the new South County Government Services Center at 500 Westridge Drive in Watsonville. The new Services Center in Watsonville is now open to the public from 7:30 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday for in-person employment services, public benefits assistance, and other social services supports. The public may also access the 1-888-421-8080 phone lines for benefits inquiries, and the Human Services Department offices on Emeline Avenue in Santa Cruz will remain open for North County residents.

 Housing for Health Partnership Secures Additional Funding

More than $9 million in federal and State Homekey Program funds have been awarded to support permanent supportive housing projects, rental subsidies and youth transitional housing across Santa Cruz County.

SCHOLARSHIP ALERT! Apply for a Path to Success Scholarship!

You may be eligible for one of 32 available scholarships, worth $4,500 each! These scholarships, offered in partnership between Workforce Santa Cruz County and Cabrillo College, will allow a diverse range of Cabrillo College students to enroll in an exciting certificated program in a high-demand field. For more information:


NEW! Medi-Cal for All Expansion of Coverage!

Effective January 1st, 2024, Medi-Cal citizenship requirements have been eliminated to allow more Californians to qualify for full coverage. Adults ages 26 through 49 can now qualify for full scope Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration status (all other Medi-Cal eligibility rules, including income limits, still apply). More Information:


NEW! Retroactive CalFresh Replacements for Stolen Benefits!

If your CalFresh benefits were stolen on or after 10/1/2022, you may be eligible for retroactive benefit replacements! CalFresh recipients who were victims of electronic theft between October 1, 2022 through November 30, 2023 must complete a Report of Electronic Theft Form (EBT 2259) by February 29, 2024 to be eligible to receive retroactive benefit replacements. Cardholders may be eligible to receive retroactive replacements for any of the following reasons:

EBT-Card-Front

  • The cardholder did not file an EBT 2259 form,
  • An EBT 2259 was previously submitted and denied for not meeting reporting requirements, or
  • The cardholder was previously provided with only one month’s worth of benefit replacements but had lost more than that amount.

NEW! Enhanced Security for EBT Card Holders

EBT Cardholders now have a new tool to better protect your account and benefits — the new “ebtEDGE”! This mobile app and cardholder portal gives EBT users new security features:

  • Manage/change your PIN whenever and as often as needed
  • Card “freeze/unfreeze” to lock and unlock card access as needed
  • Transaction blocking for out-of-state use or for internet purchases
  • Request a replacement if your card is compromised, damaged, lost, or stolen
  • Biometrics access with touch ID or facial recognition to securely log in

The ebtEDGE mobile application is available and ready to download! Go to the Apple App Store for iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android devices and download the application today! Need more info? Download this flyer or visit https://www.ebt.ca.gov/cardholder for more information in English and Spanish.


Six-Month Report on Santa Cruz County’s Housing for a Healthy Santa Cruz Framework

On August 22, 2023, the Human Services Department presented its regular 6-month update to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on the Housing for a Healthy Santa Cruz strategic framework. You can watch this August 22, 2023 presentation to the Board of Supervisors to hear specifics updates and learn about our strategic achievement from our Housing for Health Director, Dr. Robert Ratner.


Santa Cruz County Earns AARP Age-Friendly Designation

In line with state and local efforts to develop a statewide Master Plan for Aging, the County of Santa Cruz has been designated an “Age-Friendly Community” by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Photo with Board of Supervisors and Age Friendly Team

“The safety net for older adults and people with disabilities is a blending of county administered programs, health care services, city services, and non-profit programs which together provide a network of essential services. while the safety net needs to be strengthened as we prepare locally to meet our aging community’s needs, significant expansion and investment has already been made locally and at the state level.” - Randy Morris, Human Services Director


Create Your BenefitsCal Account!

Access to MyBenefitsCalWIN ended July 3, 2023. All applicants and benefits recipients can now create a new BenefitsCal account:

  • Go to www.benefitscal.com to apply for, view or renew benefits for health coverage, food & cash assistance.
  • Select “log in.”
  • Create a new account (you’ll need an email address).
  • Link your account if you have an existing case.

Learn more here: 

BenefitsCal  BenefitsCal Logo

 


Medi-Cal Renewals are Back!

Medi-Cal renewals are back! Do not lose your benefits, be on the lookout for your Medi-Cal renewal inside a yellow envelope in the mail. Ask a benefits representative when your renewal is due next time you call the county at 1-888-421-8080, or when you visit at 1020 Emeline Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, or 500 Westridge Drive, Watsonville, CA 95076.

Medi-Cal Renewals Flyer (pdf, 724 kb)


County Holiday Observances

Please view 2024 County Holiday Schedule Here.


Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Resources

  • Check the forecast regularly at the National Weather Service report for Santa Cruz County to stay informed on weather conditions.
  • Sign up for CodeRed at www.scr911.org and download the CodeRed app for your phone.
  • Santa Cruz County, disaster preparedness/recovery resources related advice to prepare for potential disaster events Santa Cruz County Office of Response, Recovery & Resilience
  • Most importantly, you should always have an emergency kit, including food, water, and a plan! Emergency disasters can disrupt power, transportation, and other lifelines. Find more preparedness tips Here.
  • If told to evacuate, please do so immediately. Find your zone through ZoneHaven-Aware.