Amazon Plans To Share Its New Seattle Building With The Homeless
Amazon will become one othe first corporations to integrate a homeless shelter into one of its office buildings.
A year ago the king of e-commerce allowed a homeless shelter for families to temporarily occupy space in one of its Seattle properties, with plans to remove the shelter once Amazon developed the space, the New York Times reports. But plans have changed, and Amazon said it will give about half of a new six-story building slotted to open in 2020 to the shelter, for permanent use and free of charge. Amazon will even pay all utilities.
The homeless shelter will house about 220 people and it will have its own entrance and elevators. National Alliance to End Homelessness president Nan Roman said she believes this is the first time a corporation has integrated a homeless shelter into one of its own buildings.
While Amazon undoubtedly wants to improve its public imagine in Seattle, which has suffered lately due to a lack of philanthropic giving and the company’s impact on gentrification, the shelter will also help Seattle as the city struggles with a homelessness crisis. More than 10,000 people are homeless in the city, and more than 4,000 are living on the streets, according to a Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness report from last year.