Salesforce donates $1.5 million to fight the San Francisco homelessness problem -- and CEO Marc Benioff is matching it

Jerod Harris/StringerLynne and Marc Benioff will donate $US1.5 million to Hamilton Families’ Heading Home Initiative in San Francisco.
  • Salesforce.org, the company’s nonprofit arm, announced a $US1.5 million donation to Hamilton Families’ Heading Home Initiative, a San Francisco organisation focused on finding long-term housing for homeless families.
  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne will personally match the donation.
  • These donations come as a housing shortage and homelessness in San Francisco reach a crisis point.

As Salesforce prepares for the grand opening of it’s namesake tower headquarters – the tallest building in San Francisco – the company is turning its attention towards the city’s homelessness problem.

On Tuesday, the company’s philanthropic arm Salesforce.org announced a $US1.5 million donation to Hamilton Families’ Heading Home Initiative, an organisation focused on finding longterm housing for homeless families in San Francisco. The program’s goal is to house 800 families by 2020.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne will match the donation with an additional $US1.5 million of their own.

“Homelessness is the most urgent issue we face in San Francisco and it is unacceptable for any child to sleep on the street,” CEO Marc Benioff said in a statement. “As a city and community, we have a moral obligation to make sure that every person and family in our city has a home.”

Since 2016, Salesforce has given $US3.5 million to the organisation. The Benioffs have also personally donated $US11.5 million.

Other companies in tech have made similar donations as the inflated cost of housing, combined with highly-visible homelessness, have made homelessness an issue of intense political and philanthropic concern throughout the Bay Area.

In March, Cisco committed $US50 million over the next five years to Destination: Home, an organisation dedicated to finding longterm housing for homeless people throughout Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, $US9 billion startup Stripe took a more active hand, donating $US1 million to the YIMBY activist group.

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