Formerly known as the Homeless Action Partnership (HAP), the Housing for Health Partnership (H4HP) serves as the federally-designated Continuum of Care (CoC) for Santa Cruz County and coordinates resources, programs and services focused on preventing and ending homelessness. Employees from the County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department Housing for Health Division provide staffing support for the H4HP.
The H4HP is a collaboration of five public jurisdictions in Santa Cruz County (the County and the cities of Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Capitola and Scotts Valley) along with housing and service providers, people with lived experience of homelessness and other stakeholders.
HUD provides over $4 million per year to the Santa Cruz County community through the work of the H4HP. The H4HP also plays a role in receiving and coordinating other resources from federal and state government agencies.
The H4HP Policy Board is responsible for aligning and developing resources, stakeholders, and collective wisdom across the greater Santa Cruz community to promote public health and make significant impacts on the crisis of homelessness, benefitting all residents, particularly those without homes.
Our mission is to drive strong collaborative action to ensure all residents within Santa Cruz County have stable, safe, and healthy places to live.
The structure of the H4HP consists of the following:
- Policy Board
The Board is responsible for high level planning and decision-making. It sets overall policy direction and provides system oversight.
- Operational Committees and Working Groups providing recommendations, input and guidance on key operational issues, resource needs, and areas for policy change and improvement.
- The General Membership consisting of any individual in the community interested in joining the collective effort to prevent and end homelessness in the community.
- Staffing for the Housing for Health Partnership is provided by the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department, Housing for Health Division (H4H).
What is a Continuum of Care (CoC)?
A Continuum of Care (CoC) is a local group of stakeholders coming together to create, support, and coordinate a regional system for helping people who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness to find healthy, safe, and stable places to live.
The federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department oversee the Continuum of Care (CoC) program at the national level. The federal Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 and the associated CoC Program Interim Rule outline responsibilities of a CoC.
Core responsibilities of a CoC include:
- Developing and supporting a system of housing and service programs
- Designating and operating a community-wide data system known as HMIS
- Developing and implementing strategic plans to meet the needs of individuals and families at-risk of or currently experiencing homelessness
- Designing and implementing processes for applying for and strategically using CoC-designated funds
The CoC in Santa Cruz County has been called the Homeless Action Partnership (HAP). In 2021, the HAP Board approved a new governance charter that called for the creation of a new CoC entity and CoC structure. The new entity is called Housing for Health Partnership (H4HP). Staff from the Human Services Department Housing for Health Division support the H4HP.