The philanthropic arms of both Salesforce and Google have joined up with Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane, Asana cofounder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna, and the city of San Francisco in an effort to reduce the number of families that are forced to sleep out on the streets. The Heading Home Campaign seeks to move families away from transitional housing programs and into something more permanent.
More than $35 million has been invested by the city annually to combat this problem, but now this campaign wants to raise more funds from the private sector to accelerate the process to place children and their families into permanent homes.
“Together we will move hundreds of families into permanent housing, ending the trauma of homelessness for so many children in San Francisco,” said San Francisco mayor Ed Lee in a statement. “The Heading Home Campaign is a fantastic example of civic leaders, non-profits and the City working together to make San Francisco better for all its residents.”
Salesforce.org has provided $2 million towards the Heading Home Campaign, and the enterprise cloud computing software provider’s founder Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne have promised a $10 million matching donation. It’s unclear how much Google.org, Svane, and Moskovitz are contributing, but according to the city, $5 million has been contributed from private funding, excluding the match from the Benioffs.
“In our city where so many have done so well, it’s unacceptable that 1,800 students attending San Francisco’s public schools are homeless,” Benioff remarked. “I hope that other companies and individuals will join us as we take these initial steps in helping all the homeless children in our city find permanent housing.”
Through the Heading Home campaign, a portion of a family’s rent will be paid to landlords for up to 18 months while families work with staff to find a place to live, move in, and work to bring stability to their lives and set up roots. There are no preconditions to receive assistance, meaning that recipients won’t have to prove employment, have a steady income, have no criminal record, or have to be sober. The city will also provide case managers to help throughout the process.
Since 2015, San Francisco said there has been a 20 percent reduction in the number of homeless families living on the streets. This new campaign is an effort to not only bring some certainty to families but also the children who may go to schools in the area but don’t have a place to live, greatly impacting their education.