giv4 Homelessness in San Diego

A new charitable fund seeks to solve the growing problem of homelessness in San Diego by making it easier for the community to donate to organizations that are helping.

The giv4 homelessness fund launched by Jewish Community Foundation San Diego collects donations on behalf of 12 nonprofits in the areas of prevention, intervention and system change and divides the money equally.

The intent is to involve not just wealthy philanthropists but all San Diegans in addressing the growing problem.

“Many people see how much of a problem local homelessness is, but they don’t know where to begin. We wanted to create a way for everyone to be involved,” said Ollie Benn, director of philanthropy and social impact for the foundation.

To make it easier, the foundation pre-qualified the 12 nonprofits, which include Serving Seniors, YWCA of San Diego County, Interfaith Community Service and Urban Street Angels, among others.

Donations can be made online, and so far $200,000 has been raised in amounts ranging from under $20 to $25,000.

“You hail an Uber with one click. You send a Venmo with one click. Why should giving to an issue be so much more complicated?” said Benn in explaining why giving was made easy.

One intent of the fund is to involve a younger demographic in local philanthropy. Donors will receive monthly updates, and the foundation is arranging donor visits to the nonprofits.

The fund was launched in August, and Benn said additional nonprofits may be added after the first year. Other issue-oriented funds, such as one targeting environmental justice, are under consideration.

The Jewish Community Foundation was established in 1967 as a community foundation to help individuals, families, and community organizations achieve their philanthropic goals. Since its inception, the foundation has granted $1.8 billion to more than 7,000 organizations.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.