Salesforce CEO Benioff to donate $30M to fight homelessness

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife are donating another chunk of their personal fortune to help fight homelessness.

The $30 million will help fund a five year study led by UCSF.

One of the lead doctors on the project claims that this study, unlike many, could actually produce results right.

“This is different then the five-year write it up in a medical journal kind of study,” said Dr. Margot Kushell. “This is really getting answers quickly.”

Kushel from UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations will head up the new initiative.

She says the $30 million donation from Benioff in an investment in helping them tackle a crisis that has vexed city leaders for decades — how to stop the seemingly never ending problem of homelessness.

The study is going to dig deep into what we know and don’t know about why people end up homeless and what works and doesn’t work in getting them off the streets.

“We want to know who needs help with housing and services [and] who just needs housing,” sh said. “We really want to target our resources.”

The idea is to help city state and federal agencies spend money more effectively and to do that they are looking to test different ideas.

“Perhaps launch some pilot projects to try some new and novel things and then do real rigorous a valuation to say what works, what doesn’t work, what needs to be expanded, who should be expanded for [and] who should be targeted that kind of thing,” she said.

Kushel said UCSF is leading this charge because living on the street has such a devastating effects on people’s health.

“There is no medicine as powerful as housing.”

The UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative kicks off June 1.

The study will run five years but the director hopes to see the first of many results come back as early as this fall.

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