Santa Cruz Cares was formed in 2021 by a group of like-minded neighbors who felt a resounding need for a community organization that represented our values and addressed our concerns. The Santa Cruz City Council had just proposed the Temporary Outdoor Living Ordinance (TOLO) and despite staunch opposition from our community and resounding support for actual solutions to houselessness, it was voted into law. We were devastated.
However, as we spent hours glued to the council meeting, hoping for a miracle turnaround, we were energized by the sheer number and deep empathy of public comments begging the council to bring more compassionate thinking to the issue. That’s how we learned there were more of us out there, people who believe that we can solve the problems our community faces by centering care, empathy and togetherness.
Having found our people in this unexpected way, we felt called to create a space for us to gather, learn, question, act, organize, advocate and grow. After a few months of planning, we are excited to share that we are ready to launch this compassionate community space! We hope you will find this space as supportive, engaging, and brave as you are.