Amazon details latest effort to fight homelessness in headquarter regions

Since 2016, Amazon has made in-kind and cash donations to its Seattle nonprofit partners Mary’s Place and FareStart, including a first-of-its-kind family shelter within an Amazon building for Mary’s Place and classroom and restaurant space for FareStart’s job training program for people experiencing homelessness or living in poverty.

The collective value of these donations, including annual rent, is more than $130 million, with Mary’s Place alone receiving $100 million in in-kind and cash donations over the next 10 years.

“As the city of Seattle continues to look for solutions to homelessness, this generous donation from Amazon will help us meet the immediate needs of thousands of people in the coming years. Chronic homelessness is a disabling condition and a complex issue requiring the attention and support of the whole community. We’re very grateful to Amazon for continuing to step up in addressing this pressing need.”

Paul Lambros, CEO of Plymouth Housing

Initial donation of $8 million to both headquarter regions

This week Amazon announced an initial $8 million total donation to Plymouth Housing and the Arlington Community Foundation, based in the company’s two headquarters regions – Seattle and Arlington, VA.

The gifts will support both nonprofits in their missions to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable residents by increasing access to additional housing units for families, veterans, and single adults experiencing chronic homelessness or in need of affordable housing.

Besides these initial gifts – $5 million to Plymouth Housing and $3 million to the Arlington Community Foundation – the company will match employee donations through September 30, 2019 to select charities that address housing and homelessness in both regions.

“Since 2000, Arlington County has lost nearly 90% of its market affordable housing stock. Amazon’s donation is a significant investment in our community and will support critical issues like housing affordability that are important to Northern Virginians. Our veterans and working families deserve an appropriate standard of living that is healthy, safe, and makes for a vibrant community. This gift is a great contribution toward that cause.”

Jennifer Owens, President and CEO, Arlington Community Foundation

Amazon employee match campaign

This week Amazon also launched an employee match campaign to encourage employees to donate to 20 select nonprofits addressing housing and homelessness in the company’s two headquarter regions. Amazon will match the donation one-for-one, up to $5 million, through September 30.

“Homelessness and affordable housing are real concerns in Seattle and the Washington, DC region – as neighbors in both, we made these donations to Plymouth Housing and the Arlington Community Foundation because of their work and progress on housing stability and helping families improve their quality of life.”

Jay Carney, SVP, Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon

About Plymouth Housing

Plymouth Housing provides permanent housing to single men and women experiencing chronic homelessness, those sleeping on the streets and in cars while dealing with significant physical or behavioral health conditions.

Amazon’s $5 million donation to Plymouth Housing will help provide significant support to the organization, which pairs permanent homes with services to address physical disabilities, mental health, or chemical dependency, helping prevent residents from experiencing homelessness again.

Plymouth serves over 1,000 formerly homeless Seattle residents each year in 14 local apartment buildings.

About Arlington Community Foundation

The Arlington Community Foundation was established in 1991 to serve as a permanent community endowment built by the gifts and charitable legacies of individuals, families, and businesses for the betterment of Arlington County.

As a grant maker, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives, the Community Foundation strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage a better understanding of the needs of Arlingtonians, address the most critical issues of our time, and to ensure that our community provides an opportunity for everyone.

Its focus areas include homelessness prevention, education, arts, youth, and families in need.

About Amazon in the community

Amazon is committed to helping all children and young adults, especially those from under-represented and under-served communities, have the resources and skills they need to build their best future.

Amazon focuses on building long term, innovative, and high impact programs that leverage Amazon’s unique assets and culture.

Initiatives include Amazon Future Engineer, designed to inspire and excite 10 million children and young adults from under-represented communities each year to pursue an education in computer science.

The program also supports immediate needs, including fighting childhood hunger by providing access to millions of breakfasts through its nationwide Rise and Smile program, addressing family homelessness through donations and housing a homeless shelter in its Seattle headquarters, and global relief efforts for people in need following natural disasters.

READ MORE: AmazonSmile Expands in UK to Include Charities of All Sizes


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