Amazon is building a homeless shelter inside its Seattle headquarters - here's a look inside
- Amazon is building a homeless shelter on its Seattle campus.
- The shelter will be run by Mary's Place, a nonprofit that has worked with the company for years.
- It's expected to be the largest family shelter in Washington state. Amazon employees will have opportunities to volunteer there.
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Two years ago, Marty Hartman, the executive director of Mary's Place homeless shelter in Seattle, received a package from Amazon: The company presented her with a golden key symbolizing access to eight floors of a building in its Seattle headquarters.
At the time, Mary's Place had been operating a homeless shelters out of a Travelodge hotel on Amazon's campus. Amazon had always planned to renovate the hotel for its own use. So, in 2017, the company offered Hartman a permanent space in one of Amazon's corporate offices. Now, that space is almost finished.
When the new shelter opens in 2020, it will have the capacity to serve 275 people per night. That's a small portion of the city's homeless population - around 12,500 people in King County, where Seattle located - but it's expected to be the largest family shelter in Washington state.
Take a look at how the construction is coming along.
Amazon has had a complicated relationship with the city of Seattle since building its campus, which is now 10 million square feet, there in 2010.
The new shelter is located across the street from the Amazon Spheres — prominent glass domes that double as an employee workspace and greenhouse.
The space is designed to be a temporary shelter, so Mary's Place expects 400 families to stay there each year.
The new shelter resembles a motel. Families are given individual, private rooms.
The space comes with "hygiene areas" where occupants can take baths.
Two floors of the shelter will be reserved for families of children with life-threatening illnesses.
The seventh floor of the building will offer a place for Amazon employees to volunteer by teaching coding classes, reading to children, and offering resume help to adults.
An industrial kitchen will produce 600,000 meals per year.
Mary's Place will be responsible for funding its own operations, programming, and staff in the space. The organization told CityLab that those expenses could amount to $2 million a year.
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