Amazon Delivers Key to Seattle Homeless Shelter’s New Home


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Amazon made a special delivery to a homeless facility in Seattle.
On May 10, non-profit Mary’s Place announced that Amazon will donate more than 47,000 square feet of space within their newest headquarters as a permanent home for a Mary’s Place Family Shelter. The new shelter included 65 rooms — offering homeless families a place to sleep every night.


Amazon News posted a video on YouTube where Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place, was given a key to their new home. Hartman exclaimed, “We live on 8th and Blanchard!” “To have a permanent downtown Seattle location within Amazon is a game-changer for Mary’s Place and the families we serve,” Hartman said in an Amazon press release. “We’ve loved being Amazon’s neighbor, and now the opportunity to move into their headquarters permanently is truly a dream come true. This unique, first-of-its-kind shelter will remind families that they matter and that their community wants to help them succeed.” Mary’s Place, established in 1999, provides shelter and services for more than 200 homeless people each night. By doing so, they help homeless women, children and families reclaim their lives. In the spring of 2016, Mary’s Place partnered with Amazon to turn an old Travelodge hotel — that used to be a dormitory for students at the Cornish College of the Arts — into housing for homeless families. That building had to be torn down for construction, and this prompted Amazon to donate the space.


Mary’s Place’s housing efforts began in 2010 with a surge of homeless women with children. Rather than turn families away to “hide in restrooms, sleep in a car, or ride the bus all night to stay safe and warm” — Mary’s Place and a generous donor offered families respite in hotel rooms until they could access a family shelter. Mary’s Place recycles unused buildings and turns them into temporary emergency family shelters that provide a warm bed, two meals, and a community of support.
The homelessness crisis in Seattle was at an all-time high in 2015 when Mayor Ed Murray declared a state of emergency. “More than 45 people have died on the streets of the city of Seattle this year and nearly 3,000 children in Seattle Public Schools are homeless. I’m requesting emergency assistance from the state and federal government to respond to the urgent needs of those who are victims of this crisis,” Mayor Ed Murray told the Seattle Times. Despite the mayor’s efforts, homelessness in Seattle increased. The Seattle Times provided an estimated headcount in 2016 of people without shelter — which showed a 19 percent increase over last year. Construction on Mary’s Place’s new digs is scheduled to begin this Fall. In the interim, Amazon and their housemates will seek to temporarily move the families to another former hotel across the street until they are expected to move in together in early 2020. Your Daily Dish reached out to Mary’s Place for a comment.

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