The Mission of the Human Care Alliance is to:
Educate the public and advocate for Health and Human Services;
Ensure effective and efficient services by promoting diversity, communication, collaboration and mutual assistance among nonprofit providers;
Maintain service through cooperative cultivation of public and private funding and support.
In the early 1970s the Federal government instituted a program called Revenue Sharing. Federal tax dollars were funneled to state and local jurisdictions. Local Nonprofits received most of their local funding from the County. The City of Santa Cruz contributed a sizeable amount, and other cities within the County gave little or no money to support Health and Human Service Providers. This went on until the mid-1980s when the Federal government discontinued Revenue Sharing. At that time, the County and the Cities felt it was impossible to continue supporting nonprofits and were moving to cancel their funding to local agencies.
The Human Care Alliance was formed in response to that imminent funding decision. Local Nonprofits that had been funded by Revenue Sharing formed an alliance and convened a meeting. We knew our programs were a necessity to our community and that without them, many people within our community would be forced to go without food, shelter, employment training, or a huge number of other goods and services currently being administered. HCA agencies also knew they would have to compete with County departments for general fund money, and felt it would be wisest to collaborate in their efforts to garner local support.
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. In the meantime, HCA members have continued meeting together realizing the benefit of collaborating for local funding and support, the chance to network with other agencies providing similar services, and the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience from their peers. Over the almost 25 years of its existence, the Human Care Alliance has continued to advocate for services for their clients, has successfully lobbied for additional funds to address new needs within the community and has doubled both its membership and its local jurisdictional funding. Members have stayed active because they benefit from collaboration, improve their services by networking with other agencies and gain valuable knowledge and experience through close contact with their peers.