SCC is Pleased to Announce the CARES Rental Assistance Program.

As directed by the Board of Supervisors, the County has allocated a portion of its Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to provide housing stabilization assistance to residents of unincorporated Santa Cruz County who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and whose housing is at risk because they are in arears for rent and/or utility payments.

The Santa Cruz County CARES Rental Assistance Program is limited to residents of the unincorporated area of Santa Cruz County whose annual income does not exceed 80 percent of area median income (for a single-person household, income must be at or below $74,350). Unpaid or partially paid rent and utility payments going back to April 1, 2020 are eligible up to a maximum of $10,000 per household. Income losses must be due to COVID-19- related factors.

The CARES Rental Assistance Program will be implemented by the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County Inc. (CAB) and Families in Transition (FIT). The County anticipates that there will be two application deadlines with recipients selected through a list prioritized through a random drawing. The deadline to apply for the first random drawing is September 15, 2020. Applications can be submitted electronically or physically. Please visit or


“I hope you guys are able to go surfing while you’re evacuated in Santa Cruz.”

“Unfortunately, our boards burned along with the house.”

Upon hearing this news I knew that I had to do something. The family that had just gotten me into surfing, after a 17-year hiatus, had lost everything to the CZU Lightning Fire. That’s when I knew I had to do something, so I decided to start collecting surfboard and wetsuit donations.

 As a teacher in the SLVUSD I was sure there would be more families in need and even some of my students that would be impacted. Heidi Grillo and her daughter Carlina Grillo jumped on the train and helped me to gather wetsuits. Carlina helped come up with the name MISSION: SLV Surf’s Up and we started a facebook group to help gather equipment and connect families with boards and suits. My dad, Mike Hope, an avid surfer in Newport Beach reached out to his buds in the Blackies Surf Group and we were able to round up 30+ wetsuits and about 9 boards.

As we were gathering boards, the numbers of families and individuals that were in need were getting higher. I reached out to my boss, Rhonda Schlosser, and she offered to purchase a board from Costco, after that many others offered to send in cash donations to help support the cause and we raised enough money for about 13 new foam boards. Right now almost all of the surfboards have been passed out and I still have about 20 wetsuits in my car, which I pass out daily to anyone in need. Of course, our priorities are to get families surfboards who lost them in the fire but we are also encouraging families who are displaced to reach out so we can get these kids back into the water! 




The Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center is pleased to announce the extension of a deadline to apply for $500 in critical needs funding for individuals impacted by the CZU Lightning Complex fires, and urges all residents to begin the disaster assistance application process immediately.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] provides a variety of disaster assistance programs, including cash assistance to help cover immediate critical needs. Previously set to expire Sept. 5, the new deadline to apply for immediate needs funding is Sept. 12, 2020.

 “This will help many constituents who qualify for this emergency cash assistance,” said Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who requested the extension. “I urge all constituents impacted in any way by the fires to register with FEMA so that you can qualify for other programs.

” Residents impacted by the fires and who have out-of-pocket expenses, including hotel expenses, may also be eligible for FEMA funding. Residents should immediately register with FEMA by visiting, downloading the FEMA app for your smartphone or calling 800-621-FEMA (3362).

 Residents are also advised that if they have applied for FEMA assistance and have received a letter saying their application cannot be processed, those letters do NOT constitute denials of applications. Those residents are urged to update damage estimates as they become available and to provide current contact information throughout the FEMA application process on FEMA’s website,, or by calling 800-621-3362. All federal FEMA assistance is provided without discrimination, and U.S. citizenship is not required.

For those who have not begun the FEMA application process, be prepared to provide your social security number, insurance information, damage information, household financial information, and contact information. Direct deposit information for your financial institution may also be requested. FEMA representatives will be available on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at Paradox Hotel, 611 Ocean St., Santa Cruz. Assistance will be available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Assistance is also available at the Recovery Resource Center at Kaiser Permanente Arena, 140 Front St., Santa Cruz. FEMA assistance is located in the parking lot across Front Street from Kaiser Arena. The RRC is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. No appointment needed


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