Amazon to use Seattle office space for new homeless shelter

Amazon recently announced its new plans to construct a homeless shelter in Seattle inside its own high-tech offices, according to an article by Laurel Wansley for npr.

The new homeless shelter will house 65 families and will comprise of more than 47,000 square feet of office space, or half of its new six story building, the article states. Amazon will donate the shelter to Mary’s Place, which operates several family shelters.

From the article:

Last year, Amazon invited Mary’s Place to set up a shelter inside a former Travelodge it owns. That building will be torn down, but its replacement will include a permanent shelter space with room for about 200 homeless women, children, and families.

The article explains homelessness is a major problem in Seattle, and tent cities continue to form under interstates. King County and Seattle currently hold the third-largest homeless population in the U.S.

From the article:

Over the years, Amazon has been criticized for trailing the city’s other major companies philanthropically. In 2012, The Seattle Times did the numbers on corporate giving to United Way of King County. “Microsoft made a corporate donation of $4 million,” it reported. “Boeing gave $3.1 million. Nordstrom, nearly $320,000. And Amazon.com? Zero.”

This new shelter seems to be the company’s attempt to change the criticism.

The shelter and office building is expected to receive its new residents by early 2020.

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