If you need assistance finding food, paying housing bills, or other essential services, call 211 to speak to someone who can help or visit our 211 website. All 211 calls are free, confidential, and continues to connect people with services and resources in Santa Cruz County.
Santa Cruz Community –
We understand the concern surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) across our communities, and we are closely monitoring the ongoing pandemic. Many of you are concerned not only about the health of yourself and your families but the financial hardships you are facing as a result of prolonged work and event closures. United Way of Santa Cruz County is here to help you through the coronavirus crisis.
We continue to update this page regularly to provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus and vaccination information, along with the resources you need to help guide you through this crisis.
Updated January 2022
Get vaccinated – it’s safe, effective, and free. Vaccination is the most important tool to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Every Californian 12 and up is now eligible for vaccination.
Get Tested for COVID-19
Some CVS Pharmacies are conducting COVID-19 testing. Click here to find out more: https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing.
Walgreens, 1718 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing
For assistance scheduling vaccinations and testing call (831)-440-3556 (English, Spanish, Mixteco and Triqui)
COVID-19 Vaccine appointments are free and available to anyone 5 and older. No health insurance is required and there will be no questions about immigration status.
How to Get Vaccinated in Santa Cruz County:
- You can show up at a vaccination pop-up clinic during selected hours to get vaccinated View Vaccination Calendar
- Book an appointment for you or someone else on MyTurn.ca.gov. Your first and second dose appointments will be confirmed and you won’t need to register at the site. Appointments are encouraged.
- Need a ride to your vaccine appointment? Call our 2-1-1 manager at (831)-316-4310 for a free Lyft ride.
COVID-19 Booster Shots
Booster shots are now available for everyone 18 and older. The Pfizer booster is available for anyone 16 and older.
Get a booster shot as soon as you’re eligible:
- If you got a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, get a booster shot after 6 months
- If you got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, get a booster shot after 2 months
Your booster shot can be a different vaccine brand than you got in your original series.
To book your booster shot or find a walk-in clinic, visit My Turn
COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Information
Vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) are available in Santa Cruz County. Key facts about the COVID-19 vaccines:
- The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone, regardless of their immigration status.
- If you are age 12 - 17 and are eligible to be vaccinated, look for a vaccination site that offers the Pfizer vaccine. (The Moderna vaccine can only be given to people age 18 years and older).
- For information on what to expect after you get a vaccine, click here.
Residents who do not have access to a computer with the internet or residents with disabilities, dial 211 or (800)-273-6222 for assistance scheduling appointments.
Individuals who are homebound can fill out this survey to get the vaccine or call Community Bridges 831-219-8607 for help filling out the survey.
Help During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased feelings of anxiety, stress, and isolation for many in Santa Cruz County.
- If you or someone you love is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.
- To speak to someone about how you are feeling, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or text HOME to 741741.
Youth and Families Services
- Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance is providing community-based counseling services and case management service at no cost for all ages- children, youth, and families
Conflict Resolution Center is offering meditations, coaching, training via Zoom
- Monarch Services is offering 24/7 bilingual crisis hotline and will continue to provide services via video chat or phone.
Walnut Avenue Women's Center provides one-one advocacy over the phone, non-crisis support
- Community Bridges is offering the Senior Center without Limits program to combat isolation among those 60 years and older
The devastating circumstances of the pandemic may have your family facing food insecurity for the first time. Regardless of your situation, there are many available resources to get you the food you deserve.
Our 211 network can provide information about nearby food banks and resource centers. Many of these organizations are now offering delivery services; you can inquire about this possibility via phone. Dial 211, (800)-273-6222, or text 211-211 to get connected.
- Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes Free Lunch Program M-F 12-1pm and free Pantry program.
If you have not previously been a member of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you may now qualify. Apply Today!
Resources for Seniors
Rent and utility support are available due to COVID-19 Impact. Funding has been made available to provide housing stabilization assistance to residents of unincorporated Santa Cruz County who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are past due for rent and/or utility payments.
Do you need help paying for past or future rent and utilities?
The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program provides financial assistance for unpaid rent to eligible renters and landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Both renters and landlords can apply for assistance.
You qualify for the Housing is Key program if you:
- Are experiencing COVID-19 related financial distress
- Are behind on rent and/or utilities
- Earn at or below 80% of the Area Median Income
If you qualify based on the above criteria:
- Apply on your own by submitting an application here
- Get help applying by texting “RENT” to 211-211
To request additional assistance, call the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122 to schedule an appointment with a service provider near you.
- Are you experiencing conflict with your landlord, tenant, or person(s) you live with? The Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz County offers free housing mediation services. Call 831-475-6117 or email email@example.com
- Community Action Board provides a Rental Assistance Program. Applications can be submitted electronically or physically. Please visit https://cabinc.org/
Housing Authority Santa Cruz County: COVID-19 Response
- Onward CA: Resource for People Impacted by Job Loss During COVID-19
You may qualify for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) which provides payment assistance with home energy bills and, the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) which is a discount rate program offered by PG&E. Learn More
Evictions and Legal Aid:
If you can make rent payments, prioritize October and onwards, noting on your payment which month it is for.
If an eviction lawsuit is filed or you receive eviction papers with a court seal, refer to legal aid/an attorney immediately.
For local legal help call:
Health Justice Strategies to Combat COVID-19: Protecting Vulnerable Communities During a Pandemic COVID
Monarch Services: 24/7 Bilingual Crisis Hotline and Will Continue to Provide Services Via Video Chat or Phone
National Domestic Violence Hotline: Staying Safe During COVID-19
Refugees and Immigrants
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance: COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Californians
Community Action Board: Health Services & Immigration Status
Immigrants Rising: Tangible Support for Undocumented Communities During COVID-19
Listos California: Prepare for Public Health Emergencies
Catholic Charities: Legal Immigration & Citizen Program
Relief Funds: Relief Funds for Undocumented Workers in California
People with Disabilities
Disability Rights California: COVID-19 Information, Response, and Planning
Survivors of Crime
- Survivors of Crime: Alliance for Safety & Justice COVID-19 Response
On August 2, 2021 Santa Cruz County COE Superintendent Farris Sabah announced that every Santa Cruz County school is opening for full-time in-person learning this fall.
More than 50% of eligible students in Santa Cruz County, ages 12-17, are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 60% have received at least one dose.
All schools in Santa Cruz County are required to adhere to school guidance from the California Department of Public Health. CDPH guidance requires all who are indoors within schools to wear masks. Masks are optional while outdoors.
The United 4 Youth program innovated its services to serve and support youth and families during COVID-19. Through their efforts and dedication, youth and families are connected, engaged, and supported during this unprecedented time. Learn More