Amazon has turned one of the buildings in its Seattle headquarters into a permanent homeless shelter.
Since 2017, the company had plans to create a homeless shelter for Mary’s Place Family Center on its Seattle campus. From 2016 to 2018, the shelter had operated out of a vacant Amazon building, but now the new location in the Regrade neighborhood of Seattle has opened.
The brand new facility has eight floors and 63,000 square feet of usable space, which increases the organization’s overall capacity by 40% in King County, Wash. The shelter has an industrial kitchen for residents to use, an on-site health clinic, office space and recreational areas where kids can play. Mary’s Place can shelter up to 1,000 people per year and 200 family members each night.
Recently however, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has faced criticism for his growing wealth while warehouse employees face unfavorable work conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. At least five Amazon workers have died from COVID-19, according to various media reports.
Bezos shared photos from the new homeless shelter on his Instagram account on Thursday.
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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