Amazon to Build Homeless Shelter in Seattle

Posted May 13, 2017

Amazon will donate over 47,000 square feet in the downtown building for a shelter for homeless women, children and families.

With more than 30,000 employees, Amazon is Seattle's largest private employer.

The online retailer is now in the midst of a massive wave of construction on new headquarters and offices in the USA city, including an eye-catching triple-domed building that will house company offices, set to open in 2020.

Amazon will pay the utilities for Mary's Place, which will occupy the space rent free, although the organisation will continue to pay its own staff.

This isn't the first time Amazon has worked with Mary's Place.

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"T$3 he company chose to surprise [Mary's Place executive director Marty] Hartman in a highly staged setting, surrounded by camera equipment and a microphone created to capture the emotional moment and then package it later as part of the press release".

In 2015, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray declared a state of emergency on homelessness, a situation, the Times points out, some believe has been aggravated by the city's quick growth spurred in large part by Amazon itself.

In the meantime, the Mary's Place residents will move to another temporary shelter next door until the new one opens. Schoettler told the NYTimes the Mary's Place move was "permanent", at least until "homelessness is solved".

Schoettler said Bezos "loved the fact that it was unique, and that it was inclusive, within our campus, and thought that was very unusual and would allow us to do something different". The motel was on a chunk of downtown property in Seattle where Amazon planned to eventually erect yet another set of sparkling buildings to meet its insatiable need for office space in this city, where it has come to embody both the region's economic boom and its struggles with affordability. "There's people out there who really do care", Abbott said. Staffing costs are covered by other donations.

The hotel will be demolished, and rather than kick out the nonprofit that runs the shelter housed there, Amazon will spend tens of millions to construct a permanent shelter in the building that will eventually replace it, according to the Times. It also lets multigenerational families and those with pets stay together under a roof. After losing her apartment a year ago she couldn't find a shelter for her family of eight, which includes her husband and six children. "We have two rooms here", she said.