The term "Only in Santa Cruz" is true of many aspects of our unique community, not the least of which is the pride we take in knowing this is a community where people care about other people. It is also home to one of the first groups in the United States formed solely to ensure that everyone has access to the services they need to support wellness.
In 1986 severe budget cuts and increased competition for funding arrived in Santa Cruz. Some nonprofits were told that their agencies would likely remain funded while others would be left out entirely. These nonprofits became some of the 38 that made a crucial decision to band together rather than compete against each other for local funds. In this spirit of collaboration, these agencies developed a revenue-sharing task force known as the Human Care Alliance. As a united front, representatives from the Human Care Alliance asked the county and the cities of Watsonville, Scotts Valley, Capitola and Santa Cruz to stand up for essential services of the working class and low-income in Santa Cruz County by supporting what was then known as Health and Human Services.
The Alliance had great success. The County CAO recognized that the services HCA agencies provided were vital to the health of our community and agreed to fund them as a regular program in their yearly budget under “Community Programs”; they also encouraged cities to contribute their fair share of funding.
These founding members realized the benefit of networking, learning from one another, and collaboration around shared areas of interest. Thirty-five years later, the legacy of nonprofits coming together to advocate for and increase equity, client wellbeing, and
The Human Care Alliance ensures effective, efficient services by promoting diversity, communication and mutual assistance.