Amazon announced Tuesday it was donating $8 million to two nonprofit groups in Arlington, Virginia, and Seattle, Washington, to combat homelessness and provide affordable housing for those in need.
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The online shopping giant pledged $5 million to Plymouth Housing and $3 million to the Arlington Community Foundation.
“Plymouth Housing will receive $5 million to provide permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness in Seattle; $3 million will go to the Arlington Community Foundation to increase access to affordable housing for low-income families and veterans,” Amazon said in a statement.
The Seattle-based company also said it would match employees’ donations through Sept. 30, 2019 to “select charities that address housing and homelessness in both regions.”
“As the city of Seattle continues to look for solutions to homelessness, this generous donation from Amazonwill help us meet the immediate needs of thousands of people in the coming years,” Paul Lambros, the CEO of Plymouth Housing, said in an online statement. “Chronic homelessness is a disabling condition and a complex issue requiring the attention and support of the whole community. We’re very grateful to Amazon for continuing to step up in addressing this pressing need.”
Plymouth Housing gives permanent housing to single men and women who have dealt with chronic homelessness. The Arlington Community Foundation was founded to create permanent homes for those living in Arlington County.
Jennifer Owens, the CEO and president of Arlington Community Foundation, said in a statement that Arlington County has “lost nearly 90 percent of its market affordable housing stock” since 2000.
“Our veterans and working families deserve an appropriate standard of living that is healthy, safe, and makes for a vibrant community,” Owens said in a statement. “This gift is a great contribution toward that cause.”
Last year, the Seattle City Council passed a tax which would have required companies that earn at least $20 million a year to pay $275 per employee annually in order to combat homelessness in the city. Amazon, which pushed for the city to repeal the tax, would have had to pay an estimated $12.4 million due to the proposal. The Seattle City Council repealed the head tax in June 2018.
The retail giant has previously pledged millions to homelessness. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pledged about $100 million to combat homelessness in America via dozens of nonprofits last year. The company has also promised to build one of the largest homeless shelters in Seattle – as part of a new downtown building.
Fox Business’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.