It takes a village: How Cisco is combating homelessness in our personal yard


In some ways, the seed was planted on a cold late-November night time in 2019.

That’s when greater than 300 Cisco staff swapped their comfy beds for the chilly, exhausting pavement of the corporate’s San Jose, California headquarters car parking zone.

The Sleep Out occasion was designed to boost each consciousness and demanding funds to make sure Covenant Home can present meals, shelter, clothes, and important companies to homeless younger folks. Youth homelessness is very acute proper in Cisco’s yard — Santa Clara County suffers from the third-highest fee of continual homelessness in america.

Lower than two years later, on a heat, sunny, late-spring day, the seed reached full bloom.

On Might 20, 2021, Covenant Home formally opened a brand new facility within the metropolis of Santa Clara, with Cisco offering operational funding, connectivity, and help with their expertise implementation.

Occupying a former motel, Covenant Home Santa Clara gives housing for 18- to 24-year-olds for as much as two years, or till they’re prepared to maneuver into their very own properties. Companies embody three nutritious meals per day, onsite case administration, psychological well being counseling, schooling and employment help, and entry to long-term housing alternatives.

“Our journey to Santa Clara began 5 years in the past,” mentioned Invoice Bedrossian, CEO of Covenant Home California. “We knew we would have liked to be right here, however we didn’t know the best way to do it as a result of they stored telling me there isn’t any cash. However the momentum actually took off on that chilly night time in November 2019 when a whole lot of Cisco staff slept with us in a car parking zone and needed to do one thing of their neighborhood for younger folks.”

Buyer Zero begins “California Dreaming” to make a distinction

Cisco has dedicated to enhancing the lives of 1 billion folks globally by 2025 (and we’re already at 716 million!). One technique to meet that purpose is by working with the non-public and public sectors to cut back homelessness all over the world. “The facility of public/non-public partnerships is astounding,” mentioned Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. “The flexibility for us to essentially work collectively is the way in which we’ll remedy issues.”

That extremely collaborative spirit was on full show as a number of organizations – inside and out of doors Cisco – raced to make Covenant Home Santa Clara a actuality.

Cisco’s Buyer Zero group cast partnerships throughout a number of inside and exterior groups to ship success in simply two quick months. Inside Cisco alone, greater than 30 volunteers from wide-ranging organizations – Buyer Zero, Digital Enterprise Options, Gross sales, Company Affairs, Folks and Communities, Meraki, and Associate EOS – generously contributed their time throughout off-hours to speed up the Covenant Home Santa Clara venture.

This “California Dreaming” group carried out all duties required to ship safe connectivity and wi-fi entry to Covenant Home Santa Clara, together with:

  • Defining the venture scope and managing the implementation plan
  • Conducting a feasibility examine and website survey to find out access-point density
  • Putting in and configuring networking gear, together with 9 Meraki Wi-Fi 6 entry factors (each indoor MR76 and out of doors MR46 fashions), one Meraki MS210-48FP change, and one Meraki MX84 router and safety equipment
  • Contracting and coordinating exterior distributors for cabling and community set up
  • Connecting and testing all gear to make sure high-speed community connectivity with no blind spots

This profitable engagement framework and the “blueprint” of the community design are actually being replicated throughout Covenant Home’s different California websites. Amongst different issues, these applied sciences will assist younger residents develop their digital abilities. There are even plans to coach younger folks to turn out to be the primary line of IT help for every of their amenities.

“That is an incredible, sacred area that shall be house for younger individuals who had been dealing with and are actually overcoming homelessness,” mentioned Kevin Ryan, President & CEO of Covenant Home Worldwide, on the opening of Covenant Home Santa Clara. “Cisco made extraordinary items in order that younger folks have a secure place to be.”

The Buyer Zero group’s present and future impression on the Covenant Home as a corporation — and all these it serves — is an instance of how IT actually can and ought to be used for good. We’re happy with the help we’ve offered for homeless youth in Santa Clara County, and excited to proceed our efforts. We’d love to listen to about how you might be utilizing IT for good — share your experiences and concepts within the feedback!

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