Our Services

Adult & Long Term Care

Senior Smiling

We protect and care for the disabled and elderly.

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Employment & Benefits

Woman and child buying fruit

We provide services and benefits to low-income adults and families.

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Family & Children

Dad and baby on beach

We protect children from abuse and neglect to keep them safely at home.

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Foster Care & Adoptions

Happy Children in Nature

We work with families who want to foster and/or adopt children in need of a safe home.

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IHSS Public Authority

Woman being cared for

We work with caregivers who provide in-home supportive services (IHSS) as part of the IHSS registry.

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Veterans Services

A soldier with his family

We assist veterans, military retirees, and their families in obtaining benefits earned by military service.

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Workforce SCC

Worker with hard hat

A local partnership that serves job seekers and businesses.

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Applying for Benefits During COVID-19

We understand your medical needs and food assistance is a priority for you and your family. To assist you in applying for public assistance benefits such as CalFresh, Medi-Cal, General Assistance, or CalWORKs, we developed the following guides:

EBSD Guide to Benefits - English (PDF, 459 KB)

EBSD Guide to Benefits - Spanish (PDF, 483 KB)

Out of an abundance of caution, and in response to the recommendations from Public Health Officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Santa Cruz County Employment & Benefit Services walk-in customer service centers at 18W. Beach St., Watsonville and 1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz are modifying office operations to limit unnecessary Face-to-Face contact.  Customers are being asked to conduct business by phone or electronically when possible.  

Due to furloughing, some County Departments will be closed on specific Fridays. The Human Services Department will not be closed for furlough and their  hours of operation will remain the same: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

While visiting our offices, residents will be asked to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing and should stay home if they have been sick or have a fever. Medical screening may occur at some buildings. Residents should also expect limits on the number of persons in lobbies, protective screens at public counters, additional signage, and other measures to protect the health and safety of residents and staff. 

All essential services continue to be provided by phone, online and by mail, while access to the walk-in service centers will be limited, in order to promote social distancing. Nearly all benefit services for Medi-Cal, CalFresh, CalWORKs, General Assistance are available remotely by mail, phone or online through the following access points:



Mysantacruzcounty mobile app





P.O. Box 1320

Santa Cruz, CA  95061

COVID-19 Information and Updates


Santa Cruz County, CA – Based on increased spread of COVID-19 and in order to protect the health and safety of residents, the California Department of Public Health has added Santa Cruz County to the order modifying or closing operations in several sectors. The orders go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. They include modifications for:  • Gyms and fitness centers • Personal care services • Places of worship and cultural ceremonies • Offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors • Indoor shopping malls Retail and existing outdoor restaurant operations are unaffected by the orders and may continue operating under state guidelines for their respective sectors. Additionally, hair salons and personal services (including skin care, cosmetology, nail services, and massage therapy but not electrology, tattooing and piercing services) may continue operations outdoors under state guidelines. Gyms may also provide outdoor services.  • Hair Salon guidance: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-outdoor-hair-salons-en.pdf • Personal Services guidance: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-outdoor-personalcare--en.pdf Critical infrastructure offices are listed by the state and can be found at https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf. Offices on this list are not required to close operations but must continue following state guidance for safe operations. Places of worship may continue outdoor operations in accordance with state guidance. Indoor dining, bars, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums and cardrooms were closed throughout California on July 13, 2020. 

Great Plates Delivered!

HSD and its partners seek to help older adults remain home and healthy during the public health crisis by providing up to 3 meals a day from local businesses.

Who qualifies for the program?

Individuals who are 65 or older (or 60-64 at high-risk *) and

  • Live alone or with one other program-eligible adult;
  • Are not currently receiving assistance from other state or federal nutrition assistance programs (e.g. CalFresh, Meals on Wheels);
  • Annual income does not exceed $74,940 (single) or $101,460 (2-person); and
  • Cannot currently prepare or obtain meals.

How do I apply for the program if I believe I may qualify?

Provide your full name, phone, date of birth, and preferred language on a confidential voice mail or send the information to the secure email below.

Santa Cruz Great Plates Delivered Message Line (831) 454-4406


HSD staff will contact you for a free screening to confirm if you qualify.

This is a program of the Human Service Department of Santa Cruz County, in partnership with local community based organizations, and is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State of California with local support from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County. This short term program has been extended and runs until Aug 9, 2020, unless extended by the State.

Great Plates Flyer (Eng)

Great Plates Flyer (Span)