Making It in the Bay

Making It in the Bay: SF Hotel's Innovative Program Donates Furniture to Those in Need

Furniture from The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel is getting a second, very meaningful life.

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The top to bottom renovation of The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco is just about complete.

The year-long job is the first for Matthew Boone in the role of Project Manager. It is a position requiring him to be intimately familiar with every piece of equipment and furniture coming into the historic hotel.

The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco is nearing the end of a year-long, top to bottom renovation.

This story, though, is about all the old furniture leaving the hotel and the second, very meaningful life Boone is giving it.

Boone, working with San Francisco's Compass Family Services, is donating the used furniture from 150 hotel rooms to help more than 100 East Bay families.

Valeria, a single mother living in Vallejo, had been sleeping on the floor next to her daughter's crib until Boone and Compass recently showed up with a bed, desks, dressers, and chairs from the Clift.

Matthew Boone is project manager of the Clift renovation.

"This can be a life-changer," Boone said. "She's worked to get a great apartment but it's the next step."

Compass Family Services, which helps house homeless and at-risk families, agrees. They say the furniture donations make it more likely that their clients will remain housed and will free up money for the family to spend on utilities, medicine, and food.

This all started, Boone said, with a simple question about that old hotel furniture he asked of the team he was working with to renovate the hotel.

Movers deliver furniture from the Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel to Valeria, a recently-housed single mother in Vallejo.

"Where does this stuff go?" Boone asked. "And they were like, 'Well, we throw it away.'"

The idea of thousands of still-usable pieces of furniture ending up in the landfill didn't sit well with Boone.

Boone thought, "There's got to be a better way. There's got to be a better place."

The donation of the furniture comes with a cost for the Royal Sonesta company but Boone says executives immediately warmed to the idea when he brought it to them.

The furniture from 150 rooms at the Clift Royal Sonesta is being donated, with the help of Compass Family Services, to more than 100 East Bay families.

"Families are going to have new beds, new desks, and new chairs they can use to help raise their family and come home after a hard days work and get a good night's sleep," Boone said.

And perhaps, best of all, if this idea spreads other hotels looking to freshen up their look, the environment and families in need with benefit.

"It's the impact we should have. I mean we should be doing this. It's not can we, or why don't we? It's like, 'We should be doing this'.

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