San Francisco, CA – The Union Square Business Improvement District (USBID) has launched a new foundation to enhance the public realm, offer homeless workforce development opportunities and social services to empower those in need, and increase public safety efforts within the 27-block district it manages. Recognizing that Union Square is the heart of San Francisco retail, hospitality, entertainment, and other economic drivers for the City and County, the Union Square Foundation provides critical support to both creating and maintaining a clean, safe, and beautiful environment that serves to enrich its public spaces for the enjoyment of the City’s residents, employees, and millions of visitors.
“As a business improvement district serving its property owners and businesses through self-assessments, we wanted to go above and beyond,” said USBID executive director, Karin Flood. “There’s untapped opportunities to form new partnerships and leverage outside resources so we can activate our public spaces by creating mini destinations within our historic alleys and backstreets.”
Since its formation, The Union Square Foundation has raised $408,000, including a $200,000 donation from Chris Larsen Fund, a donor advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Funds will be used to maintain the USBID’s innovative security camera network, which has been instrumental to the community in helping address crime and safety issues.
“What’s good for Union Square is good for San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area. I’m proud of the diligent work that is being done to maintain a safe environment for the residents and millions of visitors passing through this international gateway. Private-public partnerships open up otherwise shadowed opportunities and should enable everyone to work together more harmoniously,” said Chris Larsen, executive chairman of Ripple, a global enterprise blockchain company.
Another key function of the Union Square Foundation is to hire homeless individuals, helping those most vulnerable who are living on our streets to develop marketable job skills through the dignity of employment in their own city, find permanent housing, and connect them with long-lost loved ones for personal support.
“Through focused attention and anchoring our initiatives for a cleaner and safer community, we’ve partnered with local non-profits, which has resulted in 23 homeless individuals achieving full-time employment and 21 who are now in permanent housing,” says Union Square Foundation board president, Tad Moore. “To continue this momentum, we rely on generous donors and partnerships so we can continue to do this important work.”
Whether it’s beautification projects like installing vibrant flower baskets along Maiden Lane thanks to the Diane Wilsey Fund’s $5,000 donation, funding impactful security measures, or providing crucial support for homeless individuals, the Union Square Foundation is on the path to creating a bright future for San Francisco.
About the Union Square Business Improvement District: Serving members and creating a high quality visitor experience by managing and activating public spaces, attracting new investment, and advocating for the District’s future success. VisitUnionSquaresf.com.
About the Union Square Foundation: A 501c3 working collaboratively with government partners and district stakeholders to shape the long-term vibrancy of the community with thoughtful public realm investment and homeless services. Tax ID #82-2194802. UnionSquareFoundation.org.