San Francisco families given second chance in new homes

Supervisor Eric Mar

The Salesforce.com Foundation is directing a donation of nearly $1 million to pay for 18 months of homeless services for single mothers and their children in the Richmond district.

The money is about one-third of a $3 million Home for the Holidays fund recently assembled by the Mayor’s Office in response to reports about the increasing number of homeless families who are struggling in San Francisco.

Salesforce.com donated the funds directly to the nonprofit Catholic Charities CYO, which is partnering with Salesforce.com and the Star of the Sea Parish to launch the Star Community Home. The $955,000 grant is part of a $1.5 million gift announced earlier this month by the tech company’s CEO, Marc Benioff, and his wife, Lynne.

The project is entirely privately funded. As early as next week, 12 single-mother families and their children will begin moving into the home at 4350 Geary Blvd., formerly a convent for the church.

“The immediate goals of the project are to provide a safe place to live for some of San Francisco’s most vulnerable homeless families while stabilizing their living situation, developing a plan for how to secure family stability and receiving intensive support to facilitate their move to permanent housing,” the project’s description said.

Over the course of 18 months, it’s expected that a total of 18 families will receive assistance as some transition into permanent housing.

Supervisor Eric Mar said the home could be a more stable environment that would produce better outcomes for single mothers than conventional shelters or public housing.

“It is rare that we are given such a clear path for addressing a community need in a way that is at the core of our mission of charity and justice,” Catholic Charities Executive Director Jeff Bialik said in a statement. “This is one of those rare times.”

It is unclear whether the operation will continue past 18 months.

“There is a possibility,” said Gabrielle Gallagher, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities. “At this point, it is too early to tell and we’ll have to rely on available funding in conjunction with community need.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsEric MarGovernment & PoliticsLocalPoliticsSan Francisco

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