Day Worker Center Santa Cruz Set to Open Spring 2013

The Day Worker Center Santa Cruz County is set to open in Spring 2013.
Below find a reprint of a KSBW article dated March 2, 2012

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. —A house in the Live Oak neighborhood of Santa Cruz got a green light from the county zoning commission Friday to be converted into a center for day laborers.  The one-story house at 2261 Seventh Ave. is slated to become a hiring center and hangout for hundreds of day laborers looking for work.

A Friday morning vote by the Santa Cruz County Planning and Zoning Commission approved the day labor house project. For years, day laborer have congregated outside Home Depot and ProBuild home improvement stores on River Street in Santa Cruz and 41st Street in Capitola, waiting in hopes of getting picked up for a job.

Supporters of the center, run by the Community Action Board, said it would help match employers with workers’ skill sets, protect day laborers from getting cheated out of pay, and give laborers a place to go instead of public streets and sidewalks.

Many neighbors, however, are not thrilled by the idea of having many undocumented workers and illegal residents gathering in their neighborhood.
Live Oak residents are concerned about laborers creating a spike in crime and safety issues. The house is a few blocks away from Harbor High School and two elementary schools. “I’m concerned about the legality,” resident Mary Anne Hintermister said. “My husband is a licensed contractor and if he hires an undocumented worker, and he’s caught, he can loose his license.”

The center would be open from 7 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday.

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