Amazon to Construct Homeless Shelter in Seattle

The shelter will occupy roughly half the area of a brand new workplace constructing in Amazon’s ever-expanding downtown Seattle campus.

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After creating its personal greenhouses, drones, and an airline, Amazon is embarking on its subsequent eyebrow-raising challenge: a homeless shelter.

The shelter will probably be a everlasting a part of the retail big’s increasing company campus in downtown Seattle, the New York Instances reports. It would occupy 47,000 sq. toes—roughly half the overall space—of a brand new workplace constructing Amazon plans to construct, and is able to housing as much as 220 folks.

The thought for the shelter was born partly out of coincidence along with the pure goodness of Amazon’s coronary heart, nonetheless: the corporate is snapping up actual property in downtown Seattle as quick as it could possibly, and one of many properties it purchased occurred to comprise an outdated lodge, which was turned into a temporary homeless shelter final 12 months.

The lodge will probably be demolished, and quite than kick out the nonprofit that runs the shelter housed there, Amazon will spend tens of hundreds of thousands to assemble a everlasting shelter within the constructing that can ultimately change it, in response to the Instances. The nonprofit, Mary’s Place, will occupy the area with out having to pay hire or utilities.

Tech corporations are sometimes criticized for taking on huge swaths of actual property and jacking up housing costs, however the homeless shelter is the most recent instance that Amazon is attempting to be a very good neighbor. It has additionally offered constructing plans to town of Seattle without asking for customary tax breaks or different similair concessions.

In the meantime, in Silicon Valley, different tech-backed initiatives to handle the housing crunch are afoot. Final fall, Fb announced it could spend $20 million to assemble reasonably priced housing models and help tenants dealing with eviction. Activists have previously criticized Fb for increasing its workplace footprint with out a clear plan to handle revenue inequality and reasonably priced housing.