Since 2016, Amazon has made in-kind and cash donations to its Seattle nonprofit partners Mary’s Place and FareStart, including a first-of-its-kind family shelter within an Amazon building for Mary’s Place and classroom and restaurant space for FareStart’s job training program for people experiencing homelessness or living in poverty. The collective value of these donations, including annual rent, is more than $130 million, with Mary’s Place alone receiving $100 million in in-kind and cash donations over the next 10 years.
Amazon announced an initial $8 million total donation to Plymouth Housing and the Arlington Community Foundation, based in the company’s two headquarters regions – Seattle and Arlington, VA. The gifts will support both nonprofits in their missions to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable residents by increasing access to additional housing units for families, veterans, and single adults experiencing chronic homelessness or in need of affordable housing. In addition to these initial gifts – $5 million to Plymouth Housing and $3 million to the Arlington Community Foundation – the company will match employee donations through September 30, 2019 to select charities that address housing and homelessness in both regions.
“As the city of Seattle continues to look for solutions to homelessness, this generous donation from Amazon will help us meet the immediate needs of thousands of people in the coming years,” said Paul Lambros, CEO of Plymouth Housing. “Chronic homelessness is a disabling condition and a complex issue requiring the attention and support of the whole community. We’re very grateful to Amazon for continuing to step up in addressing this pressing need.”
“Since 2000, Arlington County has lost nearly 90% of its market affordable housing stock. Amazon’s donation is a significant investment in our community and will support critical issues like housing affordability that are important to Northern Virginians,” said Jennifer Owens, President and CEO, Arlington Community Foundation. “Our veterans and working families deserve an appropriate standard of living that is healthy, safe, and makes for a vibrant community. This gift is a great contribution toward that cause.”
“Homelessness and affordable housing are real concerns in Seattle and the Washington, DC region – as neighbors in both, we made these donations to Plymouth Housing and the Arlington Community Foundation because of their work and progress on housing stability and helping families improve their quality of life,” said Jay Carney, SVP, Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon. “We believe this gift can help offer additional housing and support services for our neighbors in need. In addition, together with our employees, we will donate to nonprofits located in Washington State, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, whose missions support affordable housing and people experiencing homelessness.”
Beginning today, Amazon also launched an employee match campaign to encourage employees to donate to 20 select nonprofits addressing housing and homelessness in the company’s two headquarter regions. Amazon will match the donation one-for-one, up to $5 million, through September 30. The select nonprofits include:
Plymouth Housing provides permanent housing to single men and women experiencing chronic homelessness, those sleeping on the streets and in cars while dealing with significant physical or behavioral health conditions. Amazon’s $5 million donation to Plymouth Housing will help provide significant support to the organization, which pairs permanent homes with services to address physical disabilities, mental health, or chemical dependency, helping prevent residents from experiencing homelessness again. Plymouth serves over 1,000 formerly homeless Seattle residents each year in 14 local apartment buildings.
The Arlington Community Foundation was established in 1991 to serve as a permanent community endowment built by the gifts and charitable legacies of individuals, families, and businesses for the betterment of Arlington County. As a grant maker, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives, the Community Foundation strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage better understanding of the needs of Arlingtonians, address the most critical issues of our time, and to ensure that our community provides opportunity for everyone. Its focus areas include homelessness prevention, education, arts, youth, and families in need.