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Amazon Pledges $1 Million For Homeless Shelter In City Vying For HQ2

By David L. Harris–Associate Managing Editor, Boston Business Journal

Amazon.com has offered $1 million in matching funds for a homeless shelter in Boston as the city vies for the chance to house the tech giant’s second headquarters.

Seattle-based Amazon has made similar contributions for homelessness in its headquarters city, donating funds and space to Mary’s Place (which provides emergency shelter and services for women and families experiencing homelessness) and hosting FareStart eateries that employ disadvantaged workers on campus.

Amazon’s offer for St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in Boston is the biggest single corporate gift in the nonprofit’s history. St. Mary’s said it will enable the agency to expand its reach into the community by providing preventative services, housing support, and job training for families on the brink of homelessness.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced similar $1 million matches to Mary’s Place and Friendship Place, a group in the Washington, D.C. area aimed at helping the homeless.
“More than 1,000 Amazonians call Boston home, and we are so impressed and moved by the incredible, positive transformations happening at St. Mary’s Center,” Amazon Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs Jay Carney said in the news release. “We are excited to expand our support for organizations that provide emergency services for homeless women, children, and families – this time at St. Mary’s Center, a comprehensive and evidence-based organization.”
Amazon’s Jay Carney served as White House press secretary under President Barack Obama.
St. Mary’s Center is a nonprofit that serves as a shelter for homeless women and their families. Founded in 1993, the organization has more than 100 employees and hundreds of volunteers.
“We are so grateful to partner with Amazon for this match offer to work to prevent homelessness in our community and the company’s efforts to inspire others to join in by doubling their support of the families we serve,” St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children President and CEO Deirdre Houtmeyers said in a news release. “Everyone has a role in ending homelessness. Giving to St. Mary’s Center today will change lives for generations to come.”

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Your support for Friendship Place has a lasting impact. In 2019, our programs ended or prevented homelessness for 1,437 people, including 482 children in families and 558 veterans. We empowered 219 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to get jobs through innovative, state-of-the-art job placement services. Friendship Place's programs collectively served a total of 3,305 people in 2019. Make a donation today in support of our work to end homelessness. Questions? Please feel free to call our fundraising office, 202.503.2970.

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