Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has announced a $6.1 million donation from him and his wife Lynne to help fund the first five years of a 20-year lease of a single-occupancy hotel in the Tenderloin.
The newly renovated Bristol Hotel at 56 Mason St. will provide 58 units of housing with private bath for formerly homeless people — units that could have gone to a private firm and sold at market-rate.
Benioff, joined by Mayor London Breed, and Randy Shaw with The Tenderloin Housing Clinic, announced the donation and the newly renovated hotel at a press conference at the hotel on Wednesday morning.
Shaw’s clinic will operate the new SRO hotel and be the recipient of the funds. The clinic plans to use the units as “step housing,” which helps provide residents an exit from supportive permanent housing and live independently.
Rooms at the Bristol Hotel will range from $500 to $650 a month depending on the size of the room.
The tech billionaire has been a staunch supporter of donating his company’s money and his own money in helping the homeless and supporting city services that provide for the homeless. In the November election, Benioff donated $1 million to support Proposition C which will raise taxes for The City’s biggest companies.
Benioff said ending homelessness in The City is his number one priority, and that his announcement is an example of how public and private partnerships are working together to solve homelessness:
“This is the formula to bring homelessness to a close in our city.”
He added that many programs in The City do good work in helping the homeless, but said the programs need to expand which requires money:
“That’s why with the prop passage now of Proposition C, The City will start collecting that money Jan. 1. That is the miracle. That is the miracle I’m so excited about.”
While companies like Salesforce and Twitter will pay more taxes next year, Benioff said Prop. C. does not replace private donations but complements them.
Benioff sent out a challenge to all CEOs of big companies in The City to join Salesforce in ending homelessness.
While voters passed Prop. C by 61 percent, the measure may face legal hurdles but Breed said she is working with The City Attorney’s Office to free up the money.
Additionally, Breed said she is also moving aggressively to add 1,000 shelter beds by 2020:
“This will clear the shelter waitlist so everyone has a place indoors.”