Story at a glance
- Amazon confirmed Thursday it partnered with Mary's Place to open a permanent homeless shelter on its campus.
- The company has been working to help communities displaced by the tech giant's presence prior to the pandemic.
A part of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters is now dedicated to helping those without homes during the coronavirus pandemic, the company said in a statement Thursday.
Mary’s Place Family Center opened permanently in March for homeless families just as the pandemic began to disrupt every arena of modern life. From 2016 to 2018, the shelter was set up in a vacant building on Amazon’s Seattle campus until the permanent location was ready.
The e-commerce company made the announcement on its Day One blog.
"At Mary’s Place Family Center in The Regrade, our kids are able to safely finish school, our employees watch children for extended hours to support parents who lost access to childcare, and moms and dads are able to search for new jobs on new laptops," said Marty Hartman, Mary's Place Executive Director. "This new shelter...ensures we don’t have to return families to homelessness during this unprecedented and trying time."
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW
The shelter, with more than 63,000 square feet of space, has private rooms to optimize social distancing for its residents, as well as additional support for families experiencing homelessness. It can also accommodate 200 family members nightly and 1,000 annually. It also has a kitchen, multiple recreation spaces, a health clinic and additional support to care for special needs children.
Amazon will also provide legal counsel pro bono on site.
Homeless communities, along with nursing homes and other communities living in close quarters, are particularly vulnerable to severe cases of the coronavirus. California was one of the first states to increase funding to prevent coronavirus outbreaks among homeless populations.