Partner Spotlight: Sobrato Philanthropies

Sobrato Philanthopies

For many years, Sobrato Philanthropies has worked alongside Destination: Home and the community at large to drive the type of systemic change necessary to end homelessness in Silicon Valley. Guided by the business philosophy and personal values of the Sobrato family, Sobrato Philanthropies is committed to its role as a philanthropic partner in the collective effort to address this crisis. Their engagement and investments have been instrumental to the community-wide effort that has helped house approximately 20,000 individuals and prevent homelessness for thousands more over the past seven years. John A. Sobrato has also served as a trusted Destination: Home board member since 2017, providing strategic guidance on housing and real estate issues, while also championing the work of ending homelessness locally on a variety of different fronts. 

John and the staff of Sobrato Philanthropies have long been valuable partners of Destination: Home. Their leadership, commitment, and work in ending and preventing homelessness for vulnerable people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties sets an example of how philanthropy can play a significant role in our collective efforts.

Jen Loving, Destination: Home CEO

Stepping up during a particularly critical time, Sobrato Philanthropies provided targeted grants to our COVID-19 financial assistance program, which distributed $85.4M to over 19,600 low-income households during the first two years of the pandemic. This coordinated financial and rental relief effort — a unique collaboration between dozens of public and private partners — prevented thousands of households, the majority of whom were extremely low-income and households of color, from losing their homes. 

In 2021, Sobrato Philanthropies joined as a partner on the Silicon Valley Guaranteed Income Project (SVGIP), deepening its commitment to the community and to the goal of ending homelessness. A two-year program led by Destination: Home and the ¡Sí Se Puede! Collective, SVGIP provides $1,000 per month to 150 extremely low-income families who are experiencing homelessness or who are unstably housed in Santa Clara County. This unconditional, no-strings-attached income enhances, rather than replaces, the existing social safety net by providing families with the flexibility to decide how best to meet their needs — helping them to achieve housing stability and greater independence over their lives, finances, and future. Data and findings from the pilot will be used to shift local narratives, practices, policies, and systems around the efficacy of guaranteed income for unhoused and undocumented populations. 

Sobrato Philanthropies is proud to support a systemic and community-centered approach through this Guaranteed Income Project.

Camille Llanes-Fontanilla, VP of Silicon Valley Programs at Sobrato Philanthropies

“By uplifting and stabilizing residents and families most disproportionately impacted by homelessness, we hope to collectively transform resource allocation in a way that truly meets our community’s needs.” 

Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, Sobrato Philanthropies seeks to build on its community-centered learning and refine its strategic approach to community change in the local region. According to Ms. Llanes-Fontanilla, this includes intentionally drawing upon its unique levers (philanthropy, real estate, and capital) “to uplift a more equitable Silicon Valley region where systemic barriers are addressed and people have access to basic needs and opportunities. We envision a Valley where all residents are thriving, have a sense of belonging, are rooted and connected to place, and have self determination to manifest their own dreams.”

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