Morning Lookout: ‘Dissonance’ in unhoused count, a powerhouse young artist & Weekender
Greetings, morning warriors. It is Friday, Aug. 11, and after some sprinkles in the wee hours, Santa Cruz County should see a mostly sunny day with high temperatures in the 70s and 80s.
With results of this year’s point-in-time count showing a drop in Santa Cruz County’s homeless population, Max Chun talked to local advocates about how they’re interpreting those numbers. “I find ourselves in this weird juxtaposition where we should be celebrating the drop,” says one nonprofit leader, “but the dissonance is that every day we are turning people away from shelter and supportive services.”
Wallace Baine, meanwhile, profiles Isabel Contreras, “that most prized of commodities on the county’s arts/culture scene — a young person with vision and energy, and with a distinct artistic point of view, willing to do what’s necessary to create cultural touchstones, to bring hidden or overlooked communities out into the open.”
You’ll find more from Wallace among the Friday headlines in the form of Weekender, delivering recommendations for this weekend and beyond for things to do around Santa Cruz County. That and more are on the other side of this slice of life from Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud:
PHOTO OF THE DAY
It’s a set of Santa Cruz summer staples as fog rolls in over Main Beach and the Beach Boardwalk on Thursday. Rides at the Boardwalk are open through the weekend before a limited schedule kicks in next week as many districts head back to school.
Homelessness fell in Santa Cruz County, but advocates say too many still struggle with low wages, food insecurity
Local housing leaders say they are pleased to see Santa Cruz County’s homelessness levels falling, but highlighted the deep-rooted issues that pervade the county. Those include food security, not enough shelters, low wages and no effective way to identify and track the entire unhoused population. Max Chun reports.
‘She’s a connector’: How Isabel Contreras is building an emerging arts culture for local people of color
“A lot of young folks, they’re just trying to find their way in the world,” one Santa Cruz County arts leader says of 25-year-old Isabel Contreras, who has made a splash with both her art and her community organizing, “but they don’t usually take the kind of leadership that Isabel has taken on. It’s very unusual.” Wallace Baine makes introductions.
Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County
Out of The Darkness Santa Cruz County Walk @Skypark
Community Crafters-Basic Earring Making Workshop @Boulder Creek Branch Library
Farm Dinner @1481 San Miguel Canyon Rd.
Big Mountain @Moe’s Alley
MaMuse, WildChoir & The Feelings Parade @Rio Theatre
There’s Friday morning for ya, all teed up. Circle back later for more from Lookout, including another amuse-bouche from Lily Belli, who will have her latest local must-eat in the form of Eaters Digest. You can get that served right to your inbox by signing up here for Eaters and all of Lookout’s other newsletters (the weekend’s Sunday Reads, for example, or In the Public Interest, Christopher Neely’s Monday look at Santa Cruz County politics and policy). We also offer breaking news alerts via text and email if you’re looking to keep up with local news and views, and you can always connect with Lookout on social media — find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads.
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Cheers to a pleasant Friday and a safe, relaxing weekend beyond!
Lookout Santa Cruz