Friendship Place Receives $2.5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to End Homelessness
Day 1 Families Fund grants $105.9 million to 42 nonprofits helping families gain housing support and stability
WASHINGTON, D.C. – (December 9, 2020): Friendship Place, the nonprofit leading the fight to end homelessness in the Washington, D.C. region, today announced that it has been selected to receive a $2.5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.
“The Day 1 Families Fund grant is a monumental gift that could not have come at a more critical time,” said Jean-Michel Giraud, Friendship Place President and CEO. He and other housing services experts project that the ongoing COVID-related economic crisis will increase homelessness by as much as 45% in the coming years. “This grant will allow us to expand our services in a way that dramatically impacts the population of homeless families in D.C.,” Giraud continued.
This one-time grant, awarded to organizations doing meaningful work to connect families with shelter and support, is the largest private gift in Friendship Place’s 30-year history. It will allow Friendship Place to help an additional 1,000 families leave homelessness for housing by focusing on two priorities — helping families that have become homeless avoid a shelter stay or an unsheltered experience by fast-tracking rehousing, and providing families who have been housed with employment assistance and extended case management.
Friendship Place will also use the grant to offer families critical care including domestic violence counseling and child therapy. A disproportionate number of domestic violence victims are disenfranchised people of color who have little to no income and limited familial relationships. They often face housing discrimination and other barriers when trying to rebuild their lives.
Friendship Place is one of 42 nonprofits across the U.S. to receive the third annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, as part of a continuing commitment by the Day 1 Families Fund to help end homelessness for families. The Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $105.9 million in grants this year. To select these organizations, the fund worked with an advisory board of homelessness advocates and leaders whose expertise spans housing justice, racial equity, direct services, homelessness policy, equity for Native American communities and anti-poverty work. This year, the grant recipients from around the country include: Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness; The Cathedral Center, Inc.; Catholic Charities of Acadiana; Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention; Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida; Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Inc.; Congreso de Latinos Unidos; Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio; Denver Indian Family Resource Center; East Los Angeles Women’s Center; East Oakland Community Project; Facing Forward to End Homelessness; Families Together; Family Life Center; Friendship Place; HELP of Southern Nevada; The Homeless Families Foundation; Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System; HOPE Atlanta; House of Ruth; Housing Matters; Housing Up; Kahumana; MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, Inc.; Metro Denver Homeless Initiative; MUST Ministries; The National Center for Children and Families; Native American Youth and Family Center; North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness; One80 Place; Poverello House; Rainbow Services; Refugee Women’s Alliance; Safe Haven Family Shelter; Samaritan House; Solid Ground; St. Vincent de Paul CARES; Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence; The Salvation Army Austin Area Command; Time for Change Foundation; United American Indian Involvement, Inc.; and WestCare California.
The Bezos Day One Fund was launched in 2018 with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.
About Friendship Place
Friendship Place is a leader in Washington, D.C., in developing solutions to homelessness that have measurable results and a lasting impact. Using innovative, customized, person-focused programs, Friendship Place empowers participants to rebuild their lives, find homes, get jobs and reconnect with friends, family and the community, permanently.
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