Building A Veterans Village in Santa Cruz County

I am very excited that we are able to share the next step in this project that so many of us have been working on for so long. I’ll go ahead and post the press release here:

A proposal to purchase the former Jaye’s Timberlane Resort to provide permanent supportive housing for local veterans was accepted on November 10, 2021 in seemingly perfect preparation for the November 11th celebration of Veterans Day when the nation honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

This “Veterans Village,” a first for Santa Cruz County, will provide a permanent affordable housing solution for veterans and their families, complete with on-site support services, amenities, outdoor recreation, and a supportive community of peers.

The Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building Board of Trustees (Vets Hall) teamed up with Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and Santa Cruz County Bank to secure funding for the project. Community Foundation Santa Cruz County will provide low-interest financing for the project in conjunction with Santa Cruz County Bank. The Community Foundation has also launched the Veterans Village Fund with a $75,000 matching grant. All donations in November up to $75,000 will be matched by the Community Foundation in honor of Veterans and their service to our country. Donations can be made here: www.cfscc.org/vetsvillage

“Our veterans cannot afford to live in Santa Cruz and many struggle to get by on their current benefits. As we see more veterans come home from Afghanistan in need of support and community, the time is now to develop a solution for permanent supportive housing for our Santa Cruz County veterans,” said Chris Cottingham, Executive Director of the Vets Hall.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building (Vets Hall) hosted a 24/7 Emergency Shelter for 16 months through their C.A.R.E. (Community Aid Resource Effort) Program, funded in part by a $20,000 grant from the Community Foundation. It was then that Cottingham discovered there are currently 179 veterans in Santa Cruz County that are eligible for supportive housing funds; many of whom are in poor temporary living situations or homeless.

The Jaye’s Timberlane property in Ben Lomond has a four bedroom, three bath home plus office with 10 additional cabins with their own kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms on nearly six acres of land. The turnkey property will be able to house 16 veterans and their families and Vets Hall will develop a phase two project to develop further housing capacity on the land for a total capacity of 40 veterans.

“This project is led by veterans for veterans,” said Cottingham. “And the village atmosphere will support community as well as self-sufficiency.” Cottingham explained that the project has been nearly two years in the planning and as it becomes a reality, “it will be a community effort, using local services, vendors, and workers.” 

“It takes a village to support the Vets Village,” said Susan True, CEO of the Community Foundation. “Purchasing this property makes a significant step towards ending homelessness for our veterans and we’re honored to work with the Vets Hall, Santa Cruz County Bank, and generous community members to help solve local challenges together.”

Instrumental support on this project came from Veterans Village Committee members and supporters: Veterans of Forgeign Wars, American Legion, United Veterans Coalitions, and Support Services for Veteran Families; Santa Cruz Free Guide; Robert Ratner with the Housing for Health Division of Santa Cruz County; Front Street Paget Center; and Supervisors Manu Koenig & Bruce McPherson, realtor Paul Zech, Jack Tracey, Lynda Francis, David Pedley, Stoney Brooks, and Keith Collins.

About Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building

Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building is a 501(c)3 non-profit who since 1995 has committed to first supporting the Santa Cruz County Veterans and the community as a whole. In partnership with the County of Santa Cruz and the United Veterans Council, they operate the Veterans Memorial Building located in Downtown Santa Cruz. Their unique model of business allows them to use the Vets Hall facility and the revenue generated, to provide support and services for Veterans and their families in the Santa Cruz area. Learn more at https://www.veteranshall.org/  

About Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

Since 1982, Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has brought together people, ideas, and resources to inspire philanthropy and accomplish great things. The Community Foundation helps donors and their advisors invest wisely in causes they care about, to provide grants and resources to community organizations, and to offer leadership around key local issues. The Foundation manages more than $187 million in charitable assets and provides customized and tax-smart giving solutions that resulted in more than $21 million in grants in 2020. Thanks to generous donors, over $131 million in local grants and scholarships have been awarded locally since 1982. The Community Foundation seeks to make Santa Cruz County thrive for all who call it home, now and in the future. Learn more at www.cfscc.org

####

This project has come this far because of a community effort. If you have time, effort or resources to donate please feel free to comment or email me directly at evan@thefreeguide.org

If you would like to donate money to this project, you can do so here: https://cfscc.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=3442

Press so far:

Sentinel: https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2021/11/10/santa-cruz-nonprofit-converting-san-lorenzo-valley-resort-into-vets-village/

Lookout: https://lookout.co/santacruz/civic-life/story/2021-11-11/homeless-veterans-village-santa-cruz-ben-lomond-community-foundation-veterans-day

KSBW: https://www.ksbw.com/article/santa-cruz-resort-homeless-veterans-support/38228232

SLV Press Banner: https://pressbanner.com/vets-village-provides-sustainable-housing-for-homeless-veterans/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: