Cisco gives $50 million to help the homeless

Homeless services non-profit Destination: Home has announced a five-year, $50 million commitment from networking-hardware company Cisco in support of its efforts to end homelessness in Santa Clara County.

The funds will be used by the public-private partnership to maximize the impact of local strategies aimed at ending homelessness in the region, leverage existing public resources to build additional housing, upgrade technology across the homeless services sector, and invest in promising and evidence-based practices designed to help individuals and families in need of support and stability. Cisco has made the first $20 million of its commitment through the Cisco Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

There are approximately 7,400 people without a home and 2,000 people considered chronically homeless in Santa Clara County, which has the third highest rate of chronic homelessness in the United States, according to Destination: Home.

“We have said for a long time that it is up to all of us to end homelessness in our community,” said the group’s CEO Jennifer Loving. “Cisco has fully embraced that concept and is stepping up in a big way to provide the type of critical private sector leadership and substantial funding that is necessary to address this crisis head on. We couldn’t be more thrilled or grateful to have Chuck Robbins and the Cisco team at the table.”

“To solve this crisis, there must be supportive policies in place, political and community will, and funding to acquire land and build the housing,” the group said.

With Santa Clara County voters in 2016 approving Measure A, a $950 million housing bond with $700 million dedicated to increasing the supply of extremely low income and supportive housing, the funding from Cisco will allow Destination: Home to explore new approaches available to end homelessness in the region.

“We can put an end to homelessness in Santa Clara County, and there is no better partner in this work than Destination: Home,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco. “I hope to join together with other business leaders across the technology industry so that with our collective creativity and innovative spirit, we can create a thriving community for all, including those who need our help the most.”

“One of the reasons that Silicon Valley will continue to thrive is because of the leadership of people like Chuck Robbins and generosity of companies like Cisco, who invest in our community in a meaningful and compassionate way,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.

“My deepest thanks to Chuck Robbins and Cisco for their leadership, collaboration and commitment to solving our community’s homelessness crisis. Cisco’s extraordinary gift will go a long way to helping house more of our homeless neighbors, and serves as a prime example of how our community is coming together to confront some of our greatest challenges,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Cisco has made the first $20 million of its $50 million commitment to this work through the Cisco Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

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