Cisco Systems gives $50M to combat California homelessness

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Internet gear maker Cisco Systems Inc. announced today it will donate $50 million over five years to address the growing problem of homelessness in California's Santa Clara County and is encouraging other Silicon Valley companies to make similar efforts.

In a blog post, Chief Executive Chuck Robbins said people in the San Francisco Bay Area know homelessness has reached a crisis level, costing the county where many tech companies are based $520 million per year.

"Though homelessness seems intractable, I believe that it is a solvable issue," Robbins wrote. "I also feel very strongly that we have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to do something about it."

Northern California's booming economy has been fueled by the tech sector. But the influx of workers coupled with decades of under-building has led to a historic shortage of affordable housing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Homelessness is now pervasive throughout Silicon Valley.

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