Who We Are

Our Story

“The world needs a North Star for truth on homelessness. UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative is that North Star, providing the latest research, data, and evidence-based solutions to ensure we’re investing in programs to help solve the homelessness crisis.”

Marc Benioff
Marc Benioff

When housing is unaffordable, some people have no other option but to go without a home. For 40 years, California has not built enough affordable housing to keep up with demand. The devastating result of housing policies and discriminatory practices has resulted in a crisis of homelessness across the State.

Recognizing two decades of UCSF research examining and advocating for evidence-based solutions to homelessness, Marc and Lynne Benioff allowed this groundbreaking work to continue with a $30 million gift, marking the largest-ever private donation to fund homelessness research. In 2019, the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative (BHHI) was launched at UCSF.

Since its inception, BHHI has conducted research with the primary focus of translating evidence into action. Employing strategic science, BHHI collaborates with partners who have real-life questions, which we help answer with scientific rigor, while simultaneously using principles of community-engaged research to center the voices and insights of those impacted by homelessness. From design to implementation, we actively involve people with lived experience in our research.

In addition, the BHHI Education Program prioritizes training the next generation of researchers who will address homelessness and housing issues in the years to come. Providing education and building capacity among researchers is at the center of our work to ensure that the body of research on homelessness and housing grows not only at BHHI, but also beyond our institution. 

Our research shapes how we collectively understand homelessness and helps policymakers make decisions that lead to real, lasting impact.

Our mission is to prevent and end homelessness by conducting accurate, timely, impact-oriented research and translating evidence into action.