Amazon to Build Homeless Shelter in Seattle

Nycolle Benham right holds her son Krystoffer 15 months as she tells how Mary’s Place has helped her. At left are Rocita Lopez and her son King Kirvin 7 months

Nycolle Benham right holds her son Krystoffer 15 months as she tells how Mary’s Place has helped her. At left are Rocita Lopez and her son King Kirvin 7 months

The economy or circumstances should not mean a newborn or a 3 year old with cancer should sleep outside.

In the heart of its headquarters for technology and innovation, Amazon is making room for homeless families.

The state of homelessness in America continues to be an issue that doesn't receive the attention it deserves.

Nan Roman, the president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, said it's not typical for a company of this magnitude to share its space with a homeless shelter.

On top of providing a permanent home for the homeless shelter, the company has also donated $10 million to the construction of the University of Washington's new computer science building.

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About Mary's Place: Mary's Place empowers women, children, and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community.

Hartman saying of Amazon's commitment, "These families will be stable, and we know, we'll be able to serve more and more families in that building over time". "You come in and become a fabric of the neighbourhood you're in, and then you say goodbye".

"It's the closest thing to home that any homeless person can have", Lopez said.

While the new building is being constructed, Amazon will help Mary's Place get space in another former hotel nearby, the company said in its post.

While construction on the block that Mary's Place now occupies won't start until October, the nonprofit will start in late May or early June to move its operations to a neighboring former Days Inn, also owned by Amazon, where it will have an additional 26 rooms.

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The e-commerce giant, which owns the property, has let Mary's Place use it for free since April 2016.

Schoettler said Amazon originally allowed the shelter to stay in the motel because of the severity of Seattle's homelessness crisis, which had prompted the city's mayor to declare a state of emergency in 2015.

All in all, critics suggest, this was just a PR move to make everyone forget Amazon's lack of involvement with its hometown's problems from the get-go. The shelter will have its own entrance and elevator service.

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

But skeptics say the move may be part of an image overhaul after Amazon's reputation has suffered in recent years. In addition, the company's employers had earned the not-so-flattering nickname of "Am-holes" after moving into blue-collar Seattle neighborhoods.

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