Philanthropic Investments That Put Community First

We’ve invested more than $178 million in our community in the last five years.

But the money is only the beginning of the story.

We’re working to demonstrate the ability of philanthropy in driving systems change. We have given power to people with lived experience in the decision-making process, moved cash directly into the hands of people who know how best to keep their families safe and stable, and eliminated barriers to funding for small BIPOC organizations that have historically faced challenges in accessing public and private funds.

As a result, we’ve seen impacts that go far beyond the metrics. We know private resources can be deployed more equitably and more responsively if you trust the people and organizations who understand their communities the best.Here’s a closer look at the $178 million invested in our community and the ways we’re working collectively to end and prevent homelessness.

Direct Financial Assistance Allows Families to Prevent Their Own Homelessness

For the past six years, we’ve been supporting a homelessness prevention system that has served more than 5,000 households and is proven to be a cost-effective way to keep people in their homes. Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunities conducted the first randomized control trial of a prevention program on our local pilot, finding households were more than 70% less likely to experience homelessness a year after receiving assistance.

We’re also piloting one of the first guaranteed income projects specifically focused on unhoused and marginalized families. 150 local families who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness are receiving $1,000 a month in no-strings-attached income. UCSF’s Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative is conducting a randomized control trial of the 2-year pilot, to evaluate the program and contribute to a growing body of research on the impact of direct cash payments.

Dramatically Increasing our Supply of Deeply Affordable Homes

The housing we most need to solve homelessness – at the lowest affordability levels – doesn’t happen naturally in our for-profit housing market and is often subject to delays, community opposition, political uncertainty and a scarcity of resources. 

Given this reality we’ve invested more than $55 million in 33 new housing developments, creating more than 3,300 new desperately-needed homes. These dollars also leveraged an additional $1.5 billion in local funding.

Bringing these developments online as quickly as possible is critical, which is why we’re also working to speed up production. Villas on 4th in San Jose is a shining example.

By funding a San Jose city planner solely focused on the review of deeply affordable and supportive housing projects, we’ve helped shave two months off the production timeline. Villas on 4th was one of the first projects to benefit from this expedited review, along with statewide streamlining legislation, and was built in just 2 years.

Building a Stronger & More Equitable System

Those most impacted by homelessness must be at the forefront of our solutions, but philanthropic structures often leave them on the sidelines. The systemic disinvestment in small community-based organizations and those with lived experience of homelessness ultimately robs our systems of new solutions and invaluable perspectives. We recognize the historic underfunding of nonprofits led by people of color as one part of the challenge we’re working to address through our Andre Ellison Equity Fund. Providing unrestricted funds, we’re currently partnering with seven local grassroots organizations to increase their ability to end and prevent homelessness.

These resources are deployed based on what our partners have asked for, with the lowest barrier applications and reporting. In short, we trust our colleagues to execute their mission and we are here to support them.

We Can Solve Homelessness

These are just a few of the many examples that demonstrate how private philanthropic funding is catalyzing equitable solutions to our homelessness crisis. By trusting our community and those most impacted by homelessness, we are challenging the status quo, fueling system change, and demonstrating the potential in new strategies.

While our work is far from done we believe centering the leadership and expertise of those we serve represents the clearest path to ending and preventing homelessness in Silicon Valley now and in the future.

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