Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Is Donating $6.1 Million To Help The Homeless In San Francisco

By Amit Chowdhry ● December 1, 2018

Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff is investing $6.1 million to convert the shutdown Bristol hotel in San Francisco to transitional housing for the homeless, according to SF Chronicle. This project is being put together by Benioff, San Francisco mayor London Breed, and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.

Benioff has been vocal in his support for Proposition C (Prop C), which would be beneficial for the homeless population in San Francisco. The Prop C measure passed following the mid-term elections in November.

In a series of tweets, Benioff confirmed his investment for converting the shutdown hotel into transitional housing for the homeless on his Twitter account:

The new housing project is set to open in February 2019. And the nonprofit Tenderloin Housing Clinic is going to run the project. The executive director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic will be the acting landlord of the facility after it opens.

Since the Bristol Hotel was designed to function as a transitional living facility, the goal is to help tenants become independent financially. The Bristol Hotel will have 58 rooms at a low rent ranging from between $500-$650 per month, which will be subsidized from Benioff through the donation.

“When you give a person a home, everything gets better,” said Benioff via the SF Chronicle. “It’s the fundamental catalyst to improving a person’s livelihood.”

It is unknown how the tenants will be selected, but they must have spent at least three years inside another supportive housing complex in San Francisco and made progress towards life after homelessness.

There is an estimated homeless population of 7,500 people in San Francisco. And Benioff and his wife have donated millions to causes that benefit homeless causes since 2016.

A number of other technology executives have not been in favor of Prop C. For example, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Zynga CEO Mark Pincus opposes of Prop C and believes that there are other ways to handle the homeless problem.

“I want to help fix the homeless problem in SF and California. I don’t believe this (Prop C) is the best way to do it,” wrote Dorsey in a tweet.

Stripe CEO and co-founder Patrick Collison also wrote an op-ed article about why the online payment company also opposes Proposition C. “Homelessness is the product of a complex web of causes, and solutions require careful interventions. Like many others, we do not believe that Prop C — which would bring San Francisco’s annual expenditure to $770 per person per year — will effectively solve this problem. While well-intentioned, it is San Francisco’s largest-ever tax increase, and comes with no systemic changes or effective accountability,” wrote Collison.

Prop C taxes companies that gross more than $50 million every year. Based on Salesforce’s revenue, it is estimated that the company would pay between $10 million and $11 million a year.