While for most people the perception of Silicon Valley is of a digital utopia with young, high income tech workers, the area actually has one of the biggest homeless populations in the United States and the third largest chronic homelessness rate in the country. Cisco Systems, Inc., a tech giant in the center of Silicon Valley, is stepping up to help the homeless living both in the area and in other major tech centers around San Francisco.
The company just pledged $50 million to the Destination: Home project designed to end homelessness in Silicon Valley and the Santa Clara County. This area is comprised of cities like Mountain View, Cupertino, Palo Alto or San Jose, all of them home to major companies like Google, Apple, or Facebook. In just the last two years, the homeless population has increased by 13% with more than 7,000 people are living in the streets.
Currently, Cisco has done an initial $20 million donation to Destination: Home through the Cisco Fund with the rest of the funds to be made available at a later date.
Destination: Home has a five-year plan to end homelessness in Silicon Valley. They focus on building new housing opportunities for the chronically homeless, veterans, children, youth, and families, while also taking steps to prevent homelessness. So far they’ve done a tremendous job, permanently housing 5,154 individuals since 2015. Cisco’s pledge will definitely make a positive impact.
“We have said for a long time that it is up to all of us to end homelessness in our community,” said Jennifer Loving, Cisco: Home’s CEO. Looking at the Destination: Home newly released progress report, Cisco has clearly picked a great organization to support.