In March 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Mary's Place and Amazon opened their doors to provide shelter, food, medical care, and community resources for families in need through the new Mary's Place Family Center in The Regrade. One year later, Mary's Place and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos welcomed Washington State Governor Jay Inslee for a tour of the eight-floor permanent family shelter built within Amazon's Seattle campus.
An image of the Mary's Place director greeting Gov. Inslee and Jeff Bezos as they walk into the shelter.Photo by Lucas Jackson
Mary's Place Senior Site Director Tina Browne led guests through the building, highlighting the sleeping floors, which have already provided safe shelter for 700 people and more than 43,000 bed nights; the industrial kitchen, which has served more than 130,000 meals to guests; and the health clinic and Popsicle Place, which have supported 26 medically fragile children and helped provide a first home for 26 newborn babies. Browne also showed guests the common spaces and rooms where community organizations and local service providers delivered in-person and virtual assistance to guests. Some of the support this past year came from the Amazon Justice League, a team of pro bono Amazon lawyers who volunteered nearly 700 hours of legal aid to help guests navigate housing and other issues, like how to receive their stimulus checks.
An image of Jeff Bezos and Lauren at an arts and crafts table with children staying at the Mary's Place Family Center.
"Mary's Place is providing safety, stability, and hope to families experiencing homelessness. This is an important piece to addressing our homeless crisis, and I am grateful for Amazon's support of this special place. Visiting the Mary's Place Family Center with Jeff Bezos on Amazon's Seattle campus was inspiring and encouraging," said Governor Jay Inslee.
"Built inside an Amazon office building at our Seattle HQ, Washington State's largest family shelter has already provided 700 people with safe shelter, served over 130,000 meals to guests, and welcomed 26 babies born to moms in residence," said Bezos. "Thank you to the Mary's Place and Amazon teams for their heart and their dedication to making The Regrade shelter a critical resource for our community."
An image of Lauren holding a baby at the Mary's Place Family Center while others are gathered around. Photo by Lucas Jackson
"This year has been challenging for so many families, and our organization, like so many others, has had to reduce capacity and pivot programs to keep people safe and sheltered. Through our ongoing partnership with Amazon and the opening of The Regrade shelter, we didn't have to turn away any family in need and were able to continue to provide support and housing resources for those who had lost their homes," said Mary's Place Executive Director Marty Hartman.