Shelter Information

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are different pathways into emergency shelter in our community. One pathway is through the COVID-19 Shelter Referral system, described below.

Another pathway is by contacting shelters that do not participate in the COVID-19 shelter referral system. Click here for information about these shelters.

COVID-19 Shelter Referrals

Following is the referral process for filling both congregate and non-congregate shelter beds established for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine.

Information in Spanish: Proceso de Referencia de Refugios del Condado de Santa Cruz

What is the process to initiate a referral?

Complete the appropriate referral form and send it to A separate email should be sent for each referral.

You can also call 831-291-5098 to complete a referral over the phone.

Please note: persons who provide referrals for other persons may be asked to assist with locating persons being referred to a shelter.

Which shelters accept referrals through this process?

The following congregate shelters fill vacancies through the Shelter Referral Process:

  • Pajaro Valley Shelter Services
  • Paul Lee Loft, Housing Matters
  • Rebele Family Shelter, Housing Matters
  • Shelters A and B, Association of Faith Communities
  • South County Navigation Center, Salvation Army
  • Expanded Shelter at Watsonville Veterans Hall, County of Santa Cruz
  • Expanded Shelter at Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Building County of Santa Cruz

A number of hotel/motel and non-congregate shelters also exist to provide isolation for people with COVID-19 or at high risk of infection. The shelter referral process also fills vacancies in the motels opened as part of the COVID-19 homeless response for persons considered to be vulnerable for COVID-19 and persons who have tested or a presumed positive for COVID-19 who are unable to safely quarantine on their own.

How are referrals prioritized?

Persons experiencing homelessness aged 65 years or older or have medical conditions that make them medically vulnerable to COVID-19 are eligible for the non-congregate shelter beds (e.g., in motels). When they become available, persons are prioritized for non-congregate shelter beds based on their medical vulnerability to COVID.

Persons who are considered Priority 1-3 below, are eligible for temporary motel assistance for the duration of their COVID-19 quarantine period.

  • PRIORITY 4 - Persons experiencing homelessness who are 65+ years old or medically vulnerable.
  • PRIORITY 5 - Persons who are medically vulnerable but less than 65 years old.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Questions about the Shelter Referral Process may be sent to

Address: 1000 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 |
| Phone: 123-456-7890