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Amazon’s new Seattle headquarters will permanently house a homeless shelter
May 16, ’17 2:30 PM EST
A rendering of Amazon’s new headquaters in Seattle. Half of the six-storey building on the right is planned to house the shelter.
The current shelter can house up to 200 people and features 60 rooms, which each have bathrooms and showers.
The new, 47,000-square-foot space will be a little larger. About 220 people in 65 rooms will be able to live there. As in the current shelter, rent and utility will be free, and residents will need to meet housing goals, like filling out employment applications, scheduling interviews, and enrolling in school or job-training programs.
— Business Insider
In 2016, when Amazon let Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter, move into one of their properties, the arrangement appeared as a temporary favor. Nevertheless, as the company is completing the construction of its new headquarters in Seattle, the shelter is promised a permanent home inside of one of the new office buildings.
“In Seattle, the plan could also help burnish Amazon’s image, which has taken some hits. It has been targeted by anti-gentrification activists, and its high-pressure work culture was the subject of a New York Times investigation two years ago.
…Amazon has also been bashed for being disengaged from civic life relative to local stalwarts known for their philanthropic giving, like Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks. More recently, that has begun to change, with gifts like Amazon’s $10 million donation for the construction of a new computer science building at the University of Washington.” -NY Times
According to Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness annual report, more than 10,000 people in the area are homeless, of which over 4,000 are living on the streets.