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What We Do Matters. Meet Edwin.




Cisco is one of the largest technology companies in the world. When we use our technology, expertise, and brainpower to go beyond profits and help people, it has the power to transform lives.

Business  Operations Senior Director Sonali Natarajan and Cisco Networking Program  Manager Tim Curry at LifeMoves.
Business Operations Senior Director Sonali Natarajan and Cisco Networking Program Manager Tim Curry at LifeMoves.

One case really brought this home: The story of Edwin and his family.

Edwin, his wife, and three children — including a bright high schooler and two younger daughters with special needs — fled a dangerous city in Honduras to seek asylum and a safer home for their family.

They arrived in the U.S. in 2020 without a place to live. The odds were stacked against them.

But thanks to the support of LifeMoves, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit and Cisco partner (through our Tech4Good Initiative), Edwin and his family are back on their feet.

Today, they have a promising future in the Bay Area.

How we started

It all started with a vision to use Cisco’s technology to help solve a big challenge in our community: Homelessness.

There are almost 30,000 people experiencing homelessness in the Bay Area alone. It’s the third largest homeless community in the U.S. after New York City and Los Angeles. And that doesn’t include the thousands of “invisible” people experiencing homelessness across the U.S.

When Chuck Robbins pledged $50 million to solve the homelessness crisis, it lit a fire. Leaders across the company followed suit.

Our People and Communities team partnered closely with Cisco Networking leadership to champion the Tech4Good program, where engineers could bring their expertise to help problem solve the homelessness crisis.

Edwin, Sonali, and Tim sit outside.
Edwin with Sonali and Tim.

With full senior-level support, it was our great privilege to help lead this effort with Cisco’s Community Impact team and the Cisco Crisis Response team. And the program took off!

Together, we teamed up with four nonprofits: LifeMoves, Westhab, Destination: Home, and Covenant House.

These nonprofits provided access to homeless communities, while Cisconians provided technical skills, brainpower, and technology.

Here are some examples of how we help:

  • In New York City, Cisco Meraki provided security, connectivity, and networking for WestHab's new $130 million shelter facility.
  • In San Jose, California, we partner with Destination: Home to help staff and permanent supportive housing residents stay connected and focused on residents’ critical care.
  • In Alaska, a partnership with Covenant House helps young adults take online courses, study, and connect with their families.

We can’t say enough about our volunteers and technical teams. They’ve gone beyond the call of duty.

From product discounts and grants to IT expertise and troubleshooting, Cisco has enabled nonprofits to build the infrastructure and services they desperately need to support people who experience homelessness.

Impacting human lives

In all, our volunteers across 30 technical teams contributed more than 300 volunteer hours to support 13 nonprofit sites across the U.S.

The progress has been breathtaking and inspiring.

And remember Edwin?

When he arrived during the pandemic, his only hope was securing safety, education, and medical treatment for his two youngest children. Edwin’s wife heard about LifeMoves, which eventually offered interim housing for their family at the Haven House in Menlo Park.

With a roof over his head, Edwin and his family began to thrive. Edwin received job placement assistance. He and his wife took English language classes remotely, and their oldest daughter excelled in her virtual high school classes.

Today, LifeMoves is helping Edwin’s family find permanent housing. His two youngest children are receiving much-needed critical medical care. Their oldest daughter graduates from Menlo High School this year. And Edwin is now employed and speaks English. He smiles as he talks about the brighter future ahead.

All of this was made possible because Cisco powers the LifeMoves network and their growing number of sites and locations, combined with many volunteers’ hard work and Cisco’s commitment to help people in need.

As Jonathan Davidson puts it, “As we work to build an inclusive future for all, Cisco is committed to showing up for our communities and each other. I’m always inspired to see the different ways people work towards bridging gaps of inequity — whether it’s through our technology, engineering expertise, or how we give back.”

A group of Cisco employees and LifeMoves employees at their office.
Left to right: LifeMoves CFO and CTO Paul Simpson; Cisco Crisis Response Strategy and Solutions Lead Eric Knudson; Cisco Networking Program Manager Tim Curry; LifeMoves IT Senior Manager Craig Hirst; LifeMoves Technical Support Analyst Don Le-Sparks; Bottom: Cisco Crisis Response Director Erin Connor, and Cisco Community Impact Director Kelly Petrich.
A group of Cisco and LifeMoves employees stands outside a LifeMoves building.
Left to right: Cisco Technical Solutions Architect Allan Hernandez, LifeMoves Corporate Partnerships Director Stefanie Bruggeman, LifeMoves IT Senior Manager Craig Hirst, LifeMoves Program Director Elisa Calafiore, Cisco Technical Consulting Engineer Edgar Vazquez, Cisco Technical Solutions Architect Hala Labrini, and LifeMoves CFO and CTO Paul Simpson pose in front a LifeMoves facility.
A row of square buildings at the LifeMoves Mountain View facility.
LifeMoves Mountain View facility.

Cisco magic

This is the magic that happens when you lend a helping hand to those experiencing homelessness.

Our Tech4Good program supports 13 nonprofit sites across the U.S. Many of these nonprofits do not have an IT department, so our volunteers helped fill that gap.

We provide solutions, network architectures and designs, product recommendations, and expertise in installation and troubleshooting.

Solutions include Cisco Meraki physical security, connectivity, and cybersecurity solutions, Cisco Collaboration devices, and Cisco Umbrella for web security.

We also provide $2.5 million to the nonprofits in Cisco product grants and $200,000 in direct cash sponsorship. It’s all to address and alleviate homelessness in the span of one quarter.

Why does this matter?

It matters because it helps Edwin, his family, and over 1,500 more people who LifeMoves shelters every night.

It matters because children are safe and not sleeping in parking lots. It matters because it provides a helping hand for families weathering the storms of life.

It matters because it brings together passionate people who want to make a difference in the world.

It matters because it’s who we are: It represents the soul of Cisco. 

And we couldn’t be more thankful and overjoyed.

Want to get involved? You don’t need to work in Engineering to join us at Tech4Good. Our projects go beyond homelessness, too. Apply now to volunteer from anywhere.

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