Amazon will share part of its new headquarters with a homeless shelter

Amazon to build homeless shelter inside headquarters

Amazon will give roughly half of the six-storey building to the shelter, providing it with 47,000sq ft of space, with private rooms that can hold 65 families, or about 220 people and their pets.

The nonprofit now operates a shelter in an old Travelodge near the core of Amazon's new downtown campus, a place where those who find themselves without a roof in an increasingly expensive city can get back on their feet, while staffers help them find jobs and housing. "We are lucky to count them as neighbours and thrilled to offer them a permanent home within our downtown Seattle headquarters".

"This is life-saving. This is a gift everybody would dream of having, to have a home for now, when you don't have one", says Marty Hartman, the Executive Director of Mary's Place.

Amazon's next office building in Seattle will include a homeless shelter, as it very well should.

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.

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

'When Seattle Mayor Ed Murray declared a civil state of emergency on homelessness we wanted to help out in a time of great need'.

Other large companies like Microsoft, Boeing, and Nordstrom - all Seattle-based enterprises - have donated heavily to organizations like United Way of King County, a non-profit organization that invests in shelter and housing programs around the county. "That's a hard thing for a lot of people to do".

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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.

At the same time - by sheltering those left out of Seattle's boom right at the center of Amazon's $4 billion urban campus, teeming with tech gentry- the new high-rise facility for Mary's Place will also highlight the yawning income-equality gap.

Mary's place helps homeless women, children and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community.

Last year, Amazon permitted the Mary's Place shelter take up residence in a hotel it owned.

Amazon also posted the announcement on its news site.

Homelessness is a huge problem in Seattle, where tent cities have sprung up under the interstates.

Last year, the tech giant partnered with the nonprofit to temporarily house 200 homeless people in one of its empty buildings on its Seattle campus.

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