Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens

venture capitalist Based in Menlo Park, California, Mark Stevens is a venture capitalist with three decades of experience investing in the technology industry. Currently, he serves as managing partner of S-Cubed Capital and as a special limited partner of Sequoia Capital. He currently  sits on the boards of directors of Second Spectrum, Nvidia, and Innovium.… Continue Reading

Author Archives: Mark Stevens

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Homelessness in the US?

For Americans, the COVID-19 public health emergency has affected virtually every aspect of life, including reducing social contact and disrupting economic activity. The pandemic has caused a surge in unemployment, exacerbating the problem of affordable housing shortages, as well as deepening social inequalities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased housing instability

Millions of already-struggling families are being pushed further and further into poverty. Even before the arrival of COVID-19, 20.8 million US households were classed as severely cost-burdened, meaning that they spent at least 30 percent of their household income on utilities and rent. Job losses caused by the pandemic have resulted in many individuals forfeiting on mortgage repayments or lacking sufficient funds to pay their rent.

Housing foreclosures and evictions as a result of the pandemic have added more strain to the existing homelessness crisis in the United States. While financial aid has been made available through the US Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, many experts warn that the legislation fails to go far enough in terms of alleviating the pandemic’s long-term economic impact.

To achieve meaningful change, policymakers must focus on a range of systemic issues that cause people to experience homelessness, from a long-term lack of safe, affordable housing to systemic inequalities. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, several states enacted strident anti-eviction measures, protecting homeowners and tenants who are struggling to pay their mortgage or rent.

Endorsing the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act in late December 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo explained the importance of supporting tenants, mortgagors, and seniors, highlighting the need to help them get back onto their feet once the pandemic ends. Housing rights advocates praised the legislation, but warned that more needs to be done in terms of protecting homeowners and tenants nationwide.

In a recent report, Cynthia Puddu, the assistant professor in the Faculty of Health and Community Studies at MacEwan University in Alberta, examined the impact of the pandemic on North America’s poorest families, highlighting the need for the US and Canadian governments to look at ways of bridging the gap in terms of spiraling rental costs, stagnating wages, and an overall lack of affordable housing throughout the North American continent.

COVID-19 has triggered the most severe housing crisis in US history

According to statistics published by the US Census Bureau, up to 40 million Americans are currently at risk for eviction. While the US housing crisis started long before the arrival of COVID-19, the pandemic has proved a tipping point in an already precarious situation.

In December 2020, the Census Bureau published its Household Pulse Survey, indicating that 1.7 million Americans were likely to face eviction within the next two months. Over 1 million of those respondents were families with children.

Experts predict that evictions could make the COVID-19 crisis worse

With millions of families evicted from their homes, many will be forced to stay with family or friends or rely on crowded temporary shelters, increasing the spread of COVID-19. According to modeling by a University of Pennsylvania research team, evictions not only cause infections to increase, but they also trigger a disproportionate increase in mortality rates.

Researchers from the John Hopkins University and UCLA compared states that enforced eviction moratoriums between March and September 2020 with those that did not. The study linked an additional 433,700 COVID-19 cases and 10,700 deaths directly to the lifting of eviction moratoriums.

In California, officials extended the eviction moratorium to June 2021

As part of the plan, Governor Gavin Newsom and top legislative leaders agreed to use federal funds to help some tenants pay unpaid rent, a move that will be welcomed by organizations like LifeMoves, a local charity supporting families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

LifeMoves, which has faced unprecedented demand since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, strives to provide clients with continued support in frightening, confusing times, working 24/7 to address the serious risks presented by COVID-19 to local homeless populations.

Implementing a range of special programs in response to the pandemic, LifeMoves has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for its Emergency Relief Fund and has appealed to members of the public, requesting donations of much-needed items such as towels, blankets, and linens. The organization has also appealed to sponsors and volunteers to support its meal program, which feeds more than 1,200 people across its service sites and shelters.

In response to health threats posed by COVID-19, LifeMoves has taken strident steps to protect clients, volunteers, and staff, including:

  • Modifying meal programs to promote social distancing
  • Increasing supplies of disinfectant, hand sanitizers, and soap at service sites
  • Providing training for volunteers and staff on CDC best practices
  • Enhancing and increasing frequency of cleaning cycles across all sites
  • Enhancing meal-service safety protocols
  • Providing masks at all sites

In response to a constantly evolving health emergency, LifeMoves has worked closely with county officials on contingency planning for a broad spectrum of health scenarios affecting the shelter environment and implemented outreach programs to support California’s unsheltered population. The organization also shares best practices and updates with community partners and numerous other aid providers.

What Is the Impact of the Pandemic on Children with Special Needs?

This explores particular challenges for parents of special needs children presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent educational disruption. Continue Reading

5 Organizations Seeking to Assist Children in Need

This article looks at various organizations focused on helping children from underserved communities. Continue Reading

This Is How Parents Helping Parents Helps Children with Special Needs

Children with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19. We examine the role of Parents Helping Parents in supporting families. Continue Reading

Nonprofits Aim to Help People in Need in the Bay Area

In this article, we examine two Silicon Valley nonprofit organizations that are helping people in need. Continue Reading

What You Need to Know about the YMCA Y Learning Labs Program

The Y Learning Labs for Super Scholars Program provides students with academic support and helps them to build self-reliance. Continue Reading

A Look at 6 Nonprofits’ Response to the Pandemic

From LifeMoves to Second Harvest Community Food Bank, we look at nonprofits focused on helping the community amid the pandemic. Continue Reading

Spotlight on the Human Prosperity Project at the Hoover Institution

The Human Prosperity Project explores the differences between socialism and capitalism and the impact of the two systems on economic development. Continue Reading

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease and Is There a Cure?

Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating, life-threatening condition that severely impacts quality of life. We look at common signs and symptoms. Continue Reading

LifeMoves: Working to Help Silicon Valley’s Homeless Community

With the homeless community particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, LifeMoves is doing important work in Silicon Valley. Continue Reading

10 Things You Need to Know about CollegeSpring

This article explores the history and impact of CollegeSpring, an organization that has helped over 30,000 students achieve academic success. Continue Reading

The Facts You Need to Know about Alzheimer’s Disease

From the disease’s discovery to its seven stages, we take an in-depth look at Alzheimer’s disease. Continue Reading

A Look at CAF’s Response to the Pandemic

In this article, we look at the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s response to the global outbreak of Covid-19. Continue Reading

Spotlight on the WVCS Covid-19 Relief Program

We investigate how West Valley Community Services (WVCS) is supporting families throughout the West Valley throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Continue Reading

5 Silicon Valley Nonprofits You Need to Know About

Benefiting causes including everything from homelessness to college preparedness, these five organizations support communities in Silicon Valley. Continue Reading

Parents Helping Parents: A Vital Resource for Parents of Children with Special Needs

We look at the work of Parents Helping Parents, exploring how this Bay Area non-profit supports parents of children with special needs. Continue Reading

7 of the Best American Charities Serving People Facing Homelessness

From Covenant House to LifeMoves, we look at seven American charities that help people facing homelessness. Continue Reading

CollegeSpring: Democratizing College Test Prep for Low-Income Students

We look at the work of CollegeSpring, an American organization that helps young people prepare for exams, paving the way for a college education. Continue Reading

7 Bay Area Nonprofits & Charities You Need to Know About

In this article, we look at seven charities and nonprofits in the Bay Area, from educational organizations, to food banks, to parent support groups. Continue Reading

West Valley Community Services: Halting Hunger in Santa Clara County

West Valley Community Services (WVCS) serves the communities of Saratoga, West San Jose, Cupertino, Monte Sereno, and Los Gatos in California’s Santa Clara County. Continue Reading

5 American Charities Working to End Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, irreversible brain disorder that impairs memory and cognitive function. Over time, it affects a person’s ability to complete the simplest tasks. Continue Reading

Everything You Need to Know About the Team Up! Campaign

The Team Up! campaign encourages US Olympic Committee employees to get involved and give back to Team USA. In this article, we look at the work undertaken under the Team Up! campaign, and how the US Olympic and Paralympic Foundation goes above and beyond to support athletes across the USA. Continue Reading

Parents Helping Parents Supports People With Disabilities Amid the Pandemic

A 501(c)3 organization based San Jose, California, Parents Helping Parents aims to provide vital services to enable families and communities to help adults and youth with special needs to build a better and brighter future. Continue Reading

Everything You Need to Know About St. Denis Parish Church

In this article we look at the history of St. Denis Catholic Church, exploring the vital contributions made through its outreach programs, which support individuals facing difficulties and the entire community of Menlo Park. Continue Reading

What is the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020?

The Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 was just passed into law. Here’s how it will improve support for people with Alzheimer’s. Continue Reading

Amador Valley Investment Club Host Q&A With Mark Stevens on Venture Capital and Covid-19

Mark spoke to students from the Amador Valley Investment Club as well as other high schools virtually on May 27th, 2020. Continue Reading

Spotlight on the YMCA Covid-19 Childcare Program

In this article, we look at the YMCA Silicon Valley’s Covid-19 Childcare Program, which provides childcare for essential and frontline workers. Continue Reading

Mark Stevens Spoke to Graduates During the University of Southern California’s 2020 Student Athlete Graduation

Mr. Stevens recognized this year’s record-breaking number of Stevens Scholars, who have demonstrated athletic and academic excellence by graduating with a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher. Continue Reading

Spotlight on the Penninsula Arts Guild Non-Profit

We look at the Peninsula Arts Guild and its work converting Menlo Park’s Guild Theatre into a top-tier live music and entertainment venue. Continue Reading

Spotlight on Second Harvest of the Valley

A nonprofit organization, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley aims to eradicate food poverty. Learn about the food bank’s role in the community. Continue Reading

Learn about the San Francisco Symphony, including its history, educational programs, and internationally renowned Youth Orchestra.

Learn about the San Francisco Symphony, including its history, educational programs, and internationally renowned Youth Orchestra. Continue Reading

Everything You Should Know About Parents Helping Parents

Learn about the work of Parents Helping Parents, a California-based nonprofit that supports the parents of children with special needs. Continue Reading

9 Things You need to Know About YMCA Silicon Valley

Since 1867, the YMCA has been listening and responding to the needs of people living in San Jose and the South Bay Area. We look at the organization’s vital work, helping young people reach their true potential and improving health and wellbeing within the local community. Continue Reading

8 of the Facts You Need to Know About Cristo Rey San José Jesuit High School

Cristo Rey San José Jesuit High School is a Jesuit Catholic school located in Santa Clara Street, San José, California. Here’s how the school empowers students from underserved communities, spiritually preparing them to become accomplished leaders committed to the lifelong pursuit of learning, justice, and faith. Continue Reading

Spotlight on the Challenged Athletes Foundation

The Challenged Athletes Foundation’s moto is “Empowering Lives Through Sport.” We look at the organization’s activities, which inspire people with physical challenges in America and around the world to get active and participate in sports. Continue Reading

This Is What You Need to Know About the Team Behind the Team VIP Weekend 2019

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Foundation was founded in 2013. This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is Team USA’s chief source of philanthropic support. It generates important financial resources that enable Team USA athletes to attain their full potential, both within and outside of their chosen sports. Continue Reading

Mark and Mary Stevens – The Giving Pledge

“We are proud to join Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and the others who have committed to the Giving Pledge. My wife, Mary, and I feel very fortunate and blessed that we find ourselves, at a relatively young age, to be able to give our time, treasure and talent to a variety of philanthropic… Continue Reading

Mark and Mary Stevens Champion Philanthropy at USC and Beyond

Their generosity has endowed several programs and centers important to USC’s future. MARK STEVENS ’81, MS ’84 and his wife, Mary, are committed to the Giving Pledge, a promise among the world’s wealthiest people to commit more than half of their fortune to charitable causes that leave the world a better place. “There are three things you… Continue Reading