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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 workers swapped their snug beds for the chilly, arduous 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 particularly acute proper in Cisco’s yard — Santa Clara County suffers from the third-highest charge of continual homelessness in the USA.

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

On Could 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 offers housing for 18- to 24-year-olds for as much as two years, or till they’re prepared to maneuver into their very own houses. Providers 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 wanted to be right here, however we didn’t know do it as a result of they saved telling me there is no such thing as a cash. However the momentum actually took off on that chilly night time in November 2019 when lots of of Cisco workers 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 personal and public sectors to cut back homelessness all over the world. “The facility of public/personal partnerships is astounding,” mentioned Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. “The power for us to essentially work collectively is the best way we’ll remedy issues.”

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

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

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

  • Defining the undertaking scope and managing the implementation plan
  • Conducting a feasibility research and web site 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 at the moment are being replicated throughout Covenant Home’s different California websites. Amongst different issues, these applied sciences will assist younger residents develop their digital expertise. There are even plans to coach younger folks to change into the primary line of IT help for every of their amenities.

“That is an incredible, sacred house that shall be house for younger individuals who had been going through and at the moment are 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 workforce’s present and future influence on the Covenant Home as a company — and all these it serves — is an instance of how IT really can and needs to be used for good. We’re happy with the help we’ve supplied 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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