Amazon to create homeless shelter at Seattle headquarters

The Mary’s Place shelter is currently housed in a former hotel which is dwarfed by Amazon towers in the background. Amazon says it will build a new tower complex on this lot with space for Mary’s Place

Schoettler said Amazon was impressed by Mary's Place, and he described the plan to give the shelter a permanent home as an investment in the neighbourhood. In 2016, the company joined up with Mary's Place to provide temporary housing to hundreds of homeless people in a nearby former Travelodge.

While San Francisco flounders with a homeless crisis thought to require $2bn of investment to solve - with little help from the tech giants nearby - just further north in the city of Seattle, Amazon may have a solution. It was assumed that the shelter would move out when Amazon tore down the building to convert it into its office space.

Marty Hartman with Mary's Place tells KING it's a "gift of love and hope". Amazon and Mary's Place residents say there are no problems with the current arrangement, and they don't expect any issues in the new one.

"You come in and become a fabric of the neighborhood you're in, and then you say goodbye".

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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.

Inside Amazon's Mary's Shelter in Seattle, Washington. Amazon announced on Wednesday it'd be partnering with Mary's Place, a local nonprofit focused on combatting homelessness, to build 65 rooms-enough space for more than 200 homeless people to sleep per night, CNN Money reports.

At the time, it was understood that the shelter would have to move out of the space once construction for the new office space began.

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.

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"Too often, homelessness gets pushed to the other side of the tracks", Roman said.

In 2009, Slate wrote an article titled, "The New Scrooge", pointing out that a lemonade stand donated more money to charity than Amazon.

Amazon's gift is prompting Mary's Place to boost its staff: now it employs about 160 across various shelters, including 66 full-time staff, and that is poised to double next year, Hartman said. Doing things like this may be in its enlightened self-interest, right on site for the world to see'. It has 30,000 employees in the city, making it Seattle's largest private employer, and it has transformed large swathes of the downtown and South Lake Union neighbourhoods. "There's people out there who really do care", Abbott said.

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