It is disturbing, especially as the weather changes, to see the problems that our local homeless individuals have to deal with – and the challenges that low-income families face when living costs go up as the temperature goes down. Working hard throughout the year to help these folks are two extraordinary SLV nonprofits, Mountain Community Resources (http://www.communitybridges.org/mountaincommunity.htm), and Valley Churches United Missions. They both need your financial contributions and volunteer time to succeed, and we strongly urge you to provide as much as you can to both of them. They have a wide range of services for people in need, from counseling and well baby check ups, to food and gifts for Christmas. Give locally this season!
Less visible because they are located outside of the SLV but still serve SLV folks, there is additional support for the homeless provided by our County’s agencies. One of the most important is the County’s Homeless Persons Health Project (HPHP). This program provides services throughout Santa Cruz County to homeless or marginally housed youth, adults, and families with children. Due to their unstable lives and the fragmented and inadequate health care system, people who are homeless frequently find their health problems to be multiple, inter-related, chronic, and difficult to resolve. As a group, homeless persons are at risk to receive care that is both inadequate and unnecessarily costly. Opportunities to prevent health problems or to prevent problems from becoming more serious are frequently lost. Unresolved health, mental health, and substance use disorders undoubtedly sabotage efforts by homeless persons to rebuild their lives. Many homeless working with the Health Project have found both improved lives and improved health. Located at 115 Coral St. (Coral St near Hwy 9), the Project is one of many services housed there, and you can encourage local homeless to seek help there.