New Program in Santa Cruz Aims to Help the Homeless

Santa Cruz streets could be getting a bit cleaner thanks to a new program that offers homeless people vouchers for clothing, shelter, food and transportation in exchange for cleaning up the streets. 

The Santa Cruz Sentinel says the new Santa Cruz Downtown Streets Team was developed as a way to have homeless volunteers pick up trash and clean city streets in exchange for vouchers. The homeless volunteers will also be connected to employment services and case managers that will assist in helping them get off the streets. 

The Santa Cruz Downtown Streets Team is in its first year and primarily funded by the city. The $360,000 program is primarily funded by the city, with a large donation provided by the Santa Cruz Downtown Association's executive director. 

Similar teams have been set up around the Bay Area in cities like Palo Alto, San Jose, Sunnyvale, San Rafel, San Francisco, Hayward and Novato. 

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