Amazon Will House Homeless Shelter In New Seattle Building

The planned Mary’s Place is highlighted in this rendering of two new buildings that Amazon will construct at its downtown Seattle campus

"It's pretty miraculous for us to have a permanent place, a place to bring families inside and never have to worry about finding that next building or that next shelter", said Hartman.

The technology giant is donating six stories and nearly 50,000 square feet of space in a building under construction in downtown Seattle to Mary's Place.

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CNN reported that Mary's Place will assist Amazon in creating 65 rooms with the capacity to house more than 200 homeless people on a nightly basis. 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. "We are lucky to count them as neighbors and thrilled to offer them a permanent home within our downtown Seattle headquarters - Amazon employees and Mary's Place residents will move in together in early 2020". "This unique, first-of-its-kind shelter will remind families that they matter and that their community wants to help them succeed".

Amazon bought the former Travelodge and converted student dormitory in 2014 as the company continues its expansion across Seattle.

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Amazon will now be looking for a new place to house the 300 employees originally scheduled to work in the area that now belongs to Mary's Place.

Seattle declared a homelessness state of emergency in 2015, the same year Washington state had the second-highest increase of homeless people (1,408) in the country.

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"I see it as this huge gift because everywhere we go, we end up leaving", said Marty Hartman, the executive director of Mary's Place, according to the Times. The shelter will have its own entrance and elevator service. Amazon has also been criticised for being disengaged from civic life relative to local stalwarts known for their philanthropic giving like Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks. It is also an obvious step for an industry giant that has contributed to the rising cost of living in a city that is also dealing with a growing homeless problem. Amazon employees have had a lot of interaction with the families at the shelter over the a year ago, taking them meals, throwing parties for the families and leading arts and crafts projects. Amazon previously purchased and donated a vacant Travelodge on its downtown campus to Mary's Place previous year. The "No Child Sleeps Outside" campaign cited a 20 percent increase in the homeless count previous year in the city.


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