Amazon Creating a Place for Hundreds of Homeless on its New Seattle Campus
Mary's Place, a nonprofit that temporarily converts unused buildings into shelters for women and families in need, will soon have a permanent home on Amazon.com's new campus in Seattle. The Seattle Times reports Amazon will devote half of one of the buildings to Mary’s Place — giving it a six-story, 47,000-square-foot shelter that will house more than 200 people in 65 rooms. The capacity is similar to the temporary shelter it will replace, currently in a Travelodge close to Amazon's new campus, but the space is about 10,000 square feet larger. The best part? It will be rent free, with utilities paid. Always. Amazon’s head of real estate, John Schoettler, said the arrangement is “permanent, until homelessness is solved.”
Total Retail's Take: This is awesome. The move, which Schoettler said will cost Amazon "tens of millions of dollars," is the company's largest philanthropic contribution to date. Mary's Place has been occupying a neighboring hotel, a property owned by Amazon, but it will be shut down for new construction. While construction on the block that Mary’s Place currently occupies won’t start until fall 2017, 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. Watch the video below to learn more about this unique partnership.