We’ve known for a few years now that Amazon planned to turn one of its buildings into a homeless facility for Mary’s Place in Seattle. The company has officially opened its new location for this shelter, one in an Amazon building located in the city’s Regrade neighborhood. Amazon says the facility has 63,000 square feet of space, nearly double that of the building Mary’s Place was using.
The launch of the new shelter was announced by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in an Instagram post. Discussing the new facility, Bezos said the destination is officially the largest family homeless shelter located in Washington — it has eight floors and vital resources, including an on-site health clinic.
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I’m so happy to share this. Today, along with @MarysPlaceWA, we’ve opened the largest family homeless shelter in Washington state. It’s housed inside one of Amazon’s buildings at our headquarters here in Seattle. This shelter spans eight floors — including a health clinic and critical tools to help families in need get back on their feet. Thanks to Mary’s Place for their partnership in bringing this creative solution to life. #NoChildSleepsOutside
According to Variety, this homeless shelter also features an industrial kitchen that residents can use and, as shown in Bezos’ photos, a recreational area that is designed specifically for kids to play. Overall, the facility offers enough space to accommodate 1,000 families yearly.
As expected, this office is isolated from the other Amazon office buildings; it features its own entrances. Amazon’s own legal team can work out of offices in the shelter while offering support to residents, plus there are public areas intended for use by both staff and shelter residents.
In a statement, Mary’s Place Executive Director Marty Hartman said:
This new shelter, opening when it did, has been our saving grace. It was our neighbors at Amazon who recognized what we needed before we ever realized it, and this space ensures we don’t have to return families to homelessness during this unprecedented and trying time.