The inside of an inhabited Pallet shelter.
(Via Pallet Shelter)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: A temporary shelter option; support for children of fallen officers

Greetings, Lookout fam! It’s Wednesday, Aug. 31, and another sunny day is in store for Santa Cruz County, with temperatures from the 70s closer to the bay to the 90s in the mountains.

Ready to dive right into the day’s Lookout offerings? Right this way.
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Tuesday night marked the latest installment of Lookout Trivia Night, with more than 50 eager contestants piling into Abbott Square in downtown Santa Cruz for the free event emceed by the one and only Wallace Baine. Props to Richelle Noroyan, Jim Jensen and Trudie Ransom, who took home not just bragging rights after winning the contest but some swag to boot.

Richelle Noroyan, Jim Jetson and Trudie Ransom (left to right) at Lookout Trivia Night
Richelle Noroyan, Jim Jensen and Trudie Ransom (left to right) were winners Tuesday at Lookout’s second Trivia Night at Abbott Square.

And if you missed it, not to worry! You’ve got a few weeks to pack that big brain of yours before the next one, set for Sept. 27 at Abbott Square. It’s free, and you can get more information and register here.

On the news front, with Santa Cruz aiming to begin clearing the Benchlands homeless encampment in the coming month, Max Chun looks at a temporary housing option that’s becoming more common across the U.S. These so-called Pallet shelters are cheaper and quicker to erect than building new housing or refurbishing existing facilities — so why aren’t there more?

And a bill signed into law earlier this week guarantees that children of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty — including the son and daughter of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy Damon Gutzwiller, whose killer was sentenced last week to life in prison — will get financial compensation regardless of their parents’ marital status. Mark Conley has the details and reaction from the local community.

To the headlines we go ...

‘Transformative’ sleeping cabins could be a good temporary shelter for the unhoused. Why aren’t there more?

Pallet shelters on Housing Matters' campus.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

As the clearing of the Benchlands draws closer, the hunt for space to accommodate the hundreds leaving Santa Cruz County’s largest homeless encampment is well underway. “Sleeping cabins” are a possible temporary option, with 40 of these shelters already on Housing Matters’ campus. That’s not nearly enough, and seeing more is unlikely until the city answers the pressing question: where? Read more here from Max Chun.

MORE: Come with us to the Benchlands: Listen to five voices of Santa Cruz’s unhoused (Lookout’s Community Voices)

‘Extra gut punch’ no more: Children of fallen police officers like Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller will now get financial compensation

Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller's widow, Faviola Del Real, speaks during Friday's proceedings.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

California Senate Bill 850 updates language to guarantee financial support for children of first responders who are killed in the line of duty, even if the parents aren’t married. The son and daughter of Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller and Faviola Del Real, along with the children of Santa Cruz Police Detective Elizabeth Butler, who was killed in 2013, will now be eligible to receive state compensation. Mark Conley has the story.

LAST WEEK: Steven Carrillo gets life in 2020 murder of Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputy Damon Gutzwiller (Lookout)

DAILY DIGEST

That’s what I know this last morning of August. More is on the way from Lookout, of course, so you’ll want to bookmark our site and and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay current.

And what better way to finish the month strong than by supporting quality local journalism? We can’t do it without you, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Tell a friend, too!

Enjoy your Wednesday, and I’ll see you all back here in September.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz