Amazon offers property to help homeless

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Amazon is helping a Seattle shelter house more people by offering one of their buildings temporarily (KTRK)

Online retailer Amazon is jumping in to help with Seattle's homeless problem by providing a safe haven in an old motel.

The space is being converted into a temporary shelter for homeless families, KCPQ reports.

Amazon owns the building and this week announced it will let the nonprofit group, Mary's place, use it as a shelter for the next year. It will be a place for more than 200 people to sleep at each night.

The shelter, which will only open during overnight hours - Monday through Friday - doubles the amount of beds Mary's Place has to offer.

Marty Hartman, executive director of Mary's Place, said, "The reality is that this is not the end-all either - that we'll be still turning families away. But we'll be helping as many as we can and bringing in new families every day."

The non-profit will use the building free of charge until Amazon begins construction at the lot next year.

At that time, Mary's Place will have to find a new location.

Hartman said, "We're scrappy, we're innovative. We have teams of professionals working year round constantly looking for the next site, looking for next new shelter."

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray recently declared a state of emergency on the homeless issue and is applauding Amazon's move, saying, "In the fact that they're willing to partner in an area that is the most difficult and most controversial in the city is pretty impressive. We've got a crisis - so we need business like Amazon to step up we need nonprofits to step up."

Mary's Place is a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless families by providing a place to stay and services to get them back on their feet.

The shelter will be ready to start accepting homeless families as early as Monday night.

Related Topics:
amazonhomelessu.s. & worldWashington
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