News Briefs

FEMA reimburses Santa Cruz County nearly $18M for Covid-related expenditures

Reps. Jimmy Panetta and Zoe Lofgren helped secure federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to reimburse Santa Cruz County more than $17.7 million for emergency health and safety expenditures incurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This FEMA reimbursement is for previous actions taken by Santa Cruz County during the pandemic when it provided shelter options for high-risk people experiencing homelessness. The funding was provided by the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which authorizes FEMA’s disaster response activities and programming.

Panetta and Lofgren also worked with more than 35 members of the California delegation that previously called upon FEMA to reimburse local governments in full for housing 62,000 high-risk Californians during this period. Panetta also met with FEMA officials to discuss the backlog of FEMA reimbursements for the County. 

Both Panetta and Lofgren continue to work closely with local officials to secure additional reimbursement from FEMA for the County’s response and recovery actions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, CZU Lightning Complex Fires, and recent severe winter storms.

Raymond James welcomes experienced financial advisor

Raymond James recently welcomed experienced financial advisor Kevin L. Mize, CFP, to Raymond James Financial Services (RJFS)—the firm’s independent advisor channel—according to Bill Counsman, Western division director for RJFS.

Based in Scotts Valley as Earthrise Financial, Mize is joined by client service associate Sebastian Henshaw. Together they provide forward-thinking, comprehensive wealth management to clients ranging from business owners and multi-generational families to churches and charitable foundations. Previously, Mize was affiliated with Morgan Stanley, where he managed over $200 million in client assets.

“I feel the brokerage industry is going the way of the music industry. Three decades ago, a few big record labels dominated music selling CDs, now independent labels rule and almost no one buys CDs. As independent firms are gaining market share in financial services, I want to be on the ascending side of the industry, not the descending side,” said Mize. “After a lot of due diligence and a chance meeting with Raymond James Chair and CEO Paul Reilly, I felt this partnership provided the best corporate culture for my firm and clients. Raymond James’ respect for independence has allowed me to bring more personality to my business, which is essential for serving the unique culture of Santa Cruz.”

As managing director, Mize brings 37 years of financial services experience, most recently at Morgan Stanley for the last 23 years. In addition to being a Certified Financial Planner professional, Mize also holds a Bachelor of Science in commerce from Santa Clara University.

Santa Cruz County supervisors greenlight bridge housing facility

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has approved a design agreement with LifeArk to construct a 30-unit center with bridge housing and services to help address homelessness in the community.

Funded through a $10.2 million grant from the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for the Behavioral Health Bridge Housing (BHBH) Program, the new facility is expected to open in 2025. It will provide comprehensive on-site services and stable temporary housing to help transition individuals into permanent housing.

Led by the County’s Health Services Agency with support from the Human Services Department’s Housing for Health Division, the new center will be a crucial step in expanding services to those experiencing homelessness. The project also continues community momentum in lowering the impacts of homelessness on individuals and the community, while helping fulfill objectives in the County’s new Three-Year Framework to Address Homelessness.

The referral-only center will be located at 2202 Soquel Ave., adjacent to the existing Behavioral Health Center operated by Telecare. Stakeholder engagement and input from groups including individuals with lived experience of mental illness underscored the urgent need for housing solutions with integrated behavioral health services.

Prefabricated modular housing construction is being used to speed construction while lowering costs and reducing impacts to the community during construction. LifeArk deploys an environmentally friendly construction process using proprietary composite polymers that include 30% post-consumer recycled materials. The construction process is being managed by the Department of Community Development and Infrastructure.

For more information, visit

Previous articleBoulder Creek businesses face financial strain amid SLVWD’s water shutoffs
Next articleTherapyWorks | The Importance of Mental Health for Men: Breaking the Silence
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here