San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Airbnb and Twilio Inc. have announced a $2.7 million commitment to helping the city’s homeless. The funding will support the Rising Up campaign, which provides housing and job placement services to more than 500 young people in San Francisco.
Rising Up plans to cut the homeless population in the city in half within the next four years. The donation from Airbnb and Twilio will be used for expanding Rising Up’s capacity.
According to a county and city report almost 7,000 homeless residents lived in San Francisco in 2017 — an increase of over 4 percent since the 2015 count.
“Shelter is a basic need, yet on any given night, nearly 1,200 young people sleep on San Francisco streets. This is our hometown, and we have a responsibility to help those young people in need of housing and job opportunities,” Airbnb Co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a press release.
Homelessness and income inequality are ongoing problems in cities with booming tech sectors and big companies are trying to help fix a problem they largely helped create. Microsoft, for example, recently announced an initiative to help create more affordable housing in Seattle.
Individually, Airbnb is donating $2 million as part of its $5 million commitment to stopping homelessness in the city and Twilio is giving $700,000. Twilio has previously committed more than $1 million to homelessness initiatives in San Francisco.
The move comes after big businesses in the city were hit with a homeless tax last year to curb the impact of large companies in the area.