RECORD $3.66M FROM HUD FOR LOCAL EFFORTS

The Homeless Action Partnership, a collaboration of the County of Santa

Cruz and each city within the county, along with local homelessness service providers, today announced the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded funding for so-called Tier 2 projects in Santa Cruz County, including full funding as requested for the following programs:

Bill Wilson Center - shared housing program for unaccompanied homeless youth ages 18-24: $119,959

Walnut Avenue Family and Women's Center - housing and employment program for survivors of domestic violence: $92,743

Between today’s announcement of Tier 2 HUD funding and Tier 1 HUD funding announced in mid-January 2020, a total of $3,662,605 in competitive grant funds have been awarded to programs dedicated to addressing homelessness in Santa Cruz County.

 

About the Homeless Action Partnership

The Homeless Action Partnership is a collaboration of the County and each city within Santa

Cruz County, along with local homelessness service providers. It acts as the federally designated continuum of care for Santa Cruz County and helps allocate State and federal funding to address homelessness. The County of Santa Cruz serves as lead agency for the HAP. Follow the HAP on Facebook at facebook.com/homelessactionpartnership.

 Beware of SCAMMERS pretending to be PG & E

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is alerting customers to be aware of potential scam phone calls or emails threatening to shut off power if a payment is not made.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, PG&E’s Corporate Security department has received several reports regarding scammers requesting payment on past due utility bills immediately with a debit card. PG&E has also seen an increase in “spoofing,” which is when the incoming call appears to come from a PG&E telephone number.

“It’s alarming that people are trying to capitalize on the pandemic and people’s fears. Unfortunately, that’s the reality with scammers. We’ve seen a steady stream of scam calls recently and are reminding customers that PG&E will never ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone,” said James Murphy, Senior Director, Corporate Security at PG&E.

Last week, PG&E announced that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has voluntarily implemented a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment, effective immediately. This suspension applies to both residential and commercial customers and will remain in effect until further notice. Customers should assume that any threat related to a disruption in service for non-payment is a scam.

Earlier in the year, PG&E started seeing a new scam trend with the request becoming more detailed. Scammers include specific names of customers, and in some cases, guessing general dollar amounts owed. They are also disguising their true phone numbers with a caller ID that says “PG&E” or “Pacific Gas & Electric.”

 

COVID-19 and SLV Water

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District would like to assure customers that the District’s tap water remains safe to drink during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The District routinely monitors for bacteria in the distribution system to ensure that water delivered to customers is free of disease-causing agents. Other parameters, including temperature, pH, turbidity, chlorine residual, electrical conductivity, lead and copper, corrosion indices and disinfection byproducts, are monitored to alert operators about changing water quality conditions and avert potential problems.

California’s comprehensive safe drinking water standards require a multistep treatment process that includes filtration and disinfection for all surface water. This process is designed to remove and kill viruses, including coronaviruses such as COVID-19, as well as bacteria and other pathogens. COVID-19 is transmitted person to person, not through water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The District also utilizes groundwater sources (wells) for approximately 50% of our water supply.  These wells were designed according to state standards, which requires that these wells maintain protective physical measures, including soil barriers, to ensure that water sources are protected from pathogens, including viruses and bacteria. In addition, chlorine is injected at all groundwater sources to disinfect viruses and bacteria that might find their way into the water.

To ensure adequate staffing to provide this essential service the District has taken steps to protect staff’s health and comply with social distancing requirements.  Field staffing has been split into several teams to provide several layers of staffing in the event staff members become ill. A percentage of staff in each department are working from home to ensure critical functions of the District are maintained at all times. 

To help reduce the potential for exposure to the COVID-19 viruses the front office counter has been closed to the public. Payments can be made online www.slvwd.com, via phone, mail or at a District drop box. Payment drop boxes are being maintained for customer payments. Drop boxes are located at Kirby Water Treatment (195 Kirby St. Felton) & SLVWD Admin. (13060 Hwy 9 Boulder Creek).

As residents are sheltering at home, the District is sensitive to the possibility that customer’s may experience difficulty paying bills. At this time the District has suspended all late fees and water turn offs for non-payment. The Board of Directors have directed staff to develop a policy dealing with bill payment with this sensitivity in mind.  We ask that if you are not able to pay your bill to contact the District, as communication of this matter is important. 

There are several ways to contact the District, through the website (www.slvwd.com) telephone (831-338-2153) and email (customerservice@slvwd.com). We are open during regular business hours (8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday).  As always, emergencies can be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

COMMUNITY COVID-19 RESOURCES

To help assist the community in answering questions about the COVID-19 outbreak, the County of Santa Cruz has established a call center to help direct questions to the proper channels. If you have questions, please call (831) 454-4242 between the hours of 8 a.m.6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Due to overwhelming call volume and in order to maintain the County’s ability to investigate and respond to the outbreak, members of the public are being asked to refrain from calling the County’s Public Health Division or the Communicable Disease Unit. Information about COVID-19 can be found at www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, including English and Spanish FAQs on the shelter-in-place order, guidance for businesses and community organizations and information on how to protect you and your family.

In response to likely economic impacts due to the outbreak, the Santa Cruz County Office for Economic Development, in conjunction with the Workforce Development Board and Small Business Development Center, is hosting a FREE Webinar to provide current information, guidance and resources for local businesses. The Zoom webinar will be held Friday at 3 p.m., is available at https://zoom.us/j/589373809, and will also be shown on CommunityTV and streamed on the County’s Facebook page.

For students engaged in remote learning or residents working from home during the shelter-in-place order, a group of community volunteers has established a clearinghouse for providing support to individuals who need assistance with networking or technical issues. Individuals willing to volunteer their time assisting the community are also being sought. Visit https://www.cruz.one for more.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many vulnerable community members are likely to experience potentially significant impacts to their well-being and livelihoods. Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has established a fund to raise money for public health and to support vulnerable residents. Donations are encouraged at https://www.cfscc.org/donate/COVID.

 To help assist the community in answering questions about the COVID-19 outbreak, the County of Santa Cruz has established a call center to help direct questions to the proper channels. If you have questions, please call (831) 454-4242 between the hours of 8 a.m.6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Due to overwhelming call volume and in order to maintain the County’s ability to investigate and respond to the outbreak, members of the public are being asked to refrain from calling the County’s Public Health Division or the Communicable Disease Unit. Information about COVID-19 can be found at www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, including English and Spanish FAQs on the shelter-in-place order, guidance for businesses and community organizations and information on how to protect you and your family.

In response to likely economic impacts due to the outbreak, the Santa Cruz County Office for Economic Development, in conjunction with the Workforce Development Board and Small Business Development Center, is hosting a FREE Webinar to provide current information, guidance and resources for local businesses. The Zoom webinar will be held Friday at 3 p.m., is available at https://zoom.us/j/589373809, and will also be shown on CommunityTV and streamed on the County’s Facebook page.

For students engaged in remote learning or residents working from home during the shelter-in-place order, a group of community volunteers has established a clearinghouse for providing support to individuals who need assistance with networking or technical issues. Individuals willing to volunteer their time assisting the community are also being sought. Visit https://www.cruz.one for more.

 Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many vulnerable community members are likely to experience potentially significant impacts to their well-being and livelihoods. Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has established a fund to raise money for public health and to support vulnerable residents. Donations are encouraged at https://www.cfscc.org/donate/COVID.

County Releases Guidance for Homeless Services Providers

The County of Santa Cruz has released important guidance for homeless service providers as it takes steps to increase sheltering capacity for unhoused County residents impacted by COVID-19.

The guidance includes important contact information, care practices and prevention strategies, and has been shared with service providers throughout Santa Cruz County. According to the 2019 Point-in-Time Count, 2,167 Santa Cruz County residents are homeless, including 1,700 who do not have access to shelter.

“Like all Santa Cruz County residents, our homeless population is vulnerable to COVID-19 but represents a particular area of concern due to their inability to safely isolate if symptomatic,” Santa Cruz

County Assistant Administrative Officer Elissa Benson said. “Any communitywide mitigation to minimize the impacts from coronavirus must include plans to safely allow unhoused individuals to isolate and recover.” Gov. Gavin Newsom has allocated $50 million to house homeless individuals impacted by COVID-19, and has identified nearly 1,000 potential sites across California for isolation placements. An additional $100 million is being allocated to local governments throughout the state for shelter support and emergency housing.

Santa Cruz County is in advanced negotiations to secure 90 hotel/motel rooms for isolation purposes, and is exploring additional capacity under leadership of the County Administrative Office and Human Services Department. The County is also working in close coordination with the state on additional sheltering capacity.

For local information on COVID-19, go to www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, call 211 or text “COVID19” to 211211. Residents may also call (831) 454-4242 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.