Cisco announced this week they will enter into a $50 million commitment with San Jose-based organization, Destination: Home to help end homelessness in Santa Clara County.
The Destination: Home project to date has demonstrated that providing permanent housing to chronically homeless people gives them the stability they need to change the trajectory of their lives.
Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, said in a statement on the Cisco blog: “Though homelessness seems intractable, I believe that it is a solvable issue. I also feel very strongly that we have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to do something about it.”
“What’s more, this commitment can help Santa Clara County reduce unnecessary system costs and make better use of public funds.”
Addressing homelessness and the issues it raises costs Santa Clara Country around $520 million every year.
Statistics published in the Santa Clara County Homeless Census in 2017 indicate that around 7,500 men, women, and children are without a home on any given night. Of those people, approximately 2,500 are considered chronically homeless.
First established in 2008, Destination: Home is an organization dedicated to creating and monitoring strategies to end homelessness in Santa Clara County. Using the nationally recognized “Housing First” model, the organization focuses on finding permanent, sustainable homes for clients as quickly as possible.
The program provides a range of supportive services designed to ensure recovery and a decrease in public systems usage. There are two primary types of permanent housing funded by the project. These include:
– Permanent housing: Permanent supporting housing offers tenants an indefinite lease or rental assistance designed to assist homeless people or families living with a disability in order to help them achieve housing stability.
– Rapid Re-housing: The Rapid Re-housing project is designed as an intervention model that connects homeless people with permanent housing solutions by providing tailored assistance packages, including pathways to employment.
Both projects include working with programs intended to help increase housing stability, promote tenant health and wellness, and provide meaningful daily activities. The Housing First model also ensures each home has adequate resources to ensure people remain housed over the long term.
To date, the long-term results have been excellent. In the past three years alone, the community Supportive Housing system has provided housing for more than 5,000 people. An estimated 94% of those people who received assistance from Destination: Home still reside in their apartments.
In 2016, the Destination: Home organization partnered with the Santa Clara County to create a $700 million bond that was specifically earmarked to assist low income and supportive housing projects. The project’s long-term goal is to assist with the construction of 4,800 units in the next 10 years, providing even more housing options for those in need.
The partnership between Cisco and Destination: Home is a long-term investment, intended to assist the project with buying land and building additional housing. It’s also intended that the partnership will be useful for testing promising social service intervention models, as well as pioneering technology solutions to combat homelessness.
“Together, I believe that we can end homelessness in our own community, and provide an example for others to follow,” Robbins said in a statement.
While Cisco may be the newest strategic partner for the organization, Destination: Home also works closely with a range of strategic and corporate partners, including Google, Symantec, Sunlight Giving, and the David & Lucille Packard Foundation.
Robbins said,”At Cisco, our desire to help people all around the world is core to who we are. For over 20 years, we have consistently thought about our potential to provide global impact and how we can make lives better. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished, but there is still much to do. With this commitment to Destination: Home, I believe we are deepening our connection even further to the community we call home. We encourage other companies and foundations based in Santa Clara County to join us, and commit to making a difference. Together, I believe that we can end homelessness in our own community, and provide an example for others to follow.”