If you’ve visited or read about San Lorenzo Park in the past month you have seen a growing homeless encampment near the banks of the San Lorenzo River.

Like you, we know that the challenges surrounding homelessness are complicated and that there are no easy solutions. While we continue to learn from our colleagues who are experts in affordable housing, mental health services and law enforcement, we are concerned about losing years of hard-won improvements along the lower San Lorenzo River. Neither the river ecosystem nor our city parks are designed to support encampments.

There is no comprehensive management plan or infrastructure to support the provision of health and human services, control illegal drug use, ensure public safety or manage human waste and garbage. Campers themselves, park users, river birds and wildlife and water quality in the river and bay are at risk right now and more so once the rains arrive.

Join the Coastal Watershed Council and ask your local leaders to announce a plan for San Lorenzo Park including:

  • Who is in charge
  • What the next steps are
  • When those changes will take place
You can call or email Santa Cruz City Council, Santa Cruz Chief of Police Andrew Mills, Santa Cruz City Manager Martín Bernal and Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.
  • Email Santa Cruz City Council at citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com, or using the form below. Call at (831) 420-5020.
  • Email Santa Cruz Chief of Police Andrew Mills at amills@cityofsantacruz.com or using the form below. Call at (831) 420-5800.
  • Email Santa Cruz City Manager Martín Bernal at mbernal@cityofsantacruz.com or using the form below. Call at (831) 420-5010.
  • Email Santa Cruz County Supervisors John Leopold at john.leopold@co.santa-cruz.ca.us, Zach Friend at zach.friend@co.santa-cruz.ca.us, Ryan Coonerty at ryan.coonerty@santacruzcounty.us, Greg Caput at greg.caput@co.santa-cruz.ca.us and Bruce McPherson at bruce.mcpherson@co.santa-cruz.ca.us, or by using the form below. Call at (831) 454-2200.

Contact your local leaders using the form below. When you click Submit, this form will be emailed to Santa Cruz City Council, Santa Cruz Chief of Police Andrew Mills, Santa Cruz City Manager Martín Bernal and Santa Cruz County Supervisors John Leopold, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput and Bruce McPherson.

You may edit the letter using the form below and can include your address if you choose, but it is not required. Email submitted to citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com is public record. All City Council email that is general correspondence will be forwarded to individual Councilmembers, City departments as appropriate, and placed in the Central Branch Library Reference Desk for 3 months for public review. All City Council email that pertains to an agenda item will be placed with that agenda item and distributed with the agenda packet, which includes public review at the Central Branch Library.

Letter to Request Action for Growing Encampment along San Lorenzo River

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