Amazon recently pledged support for a new public-private collaboration called Partnership for Zero, which is taking a united approach to dramatically reduce unsheltered homelessness. The coalition is initially focusing on downtown Seattle but will soon expand to target a set of regional communities.
Building on efforts that led to the creation of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA), the City of Seattle and King County partnered with We Are In––an advocacy coalition of philanthropies, businesses, service providers, advocates, and both housed and unhoused King County residents. Together, the public and private entities launched Partnership for Zero to support KCRHA’s goal of reducing homelessness by targeting areas in King County—the most populous county in Washington state, and county in which Seattle sits. Local companies are also supporting the effort and have committed more than $10 million of private contributions in the first year, which includes a donation from Amazon.
“Amazon is pleased to support Partnership for Zero as it works to bring together local government, nonprofits, and businesses to continue to address the homeless crisis with urgency and compassion,” said Alice Shobe, global director of Amazon in the Community.
The goal is to build a future where homelessness is rare overall, and brief when it occurs, by combining resources and investing in targeted infrastructure and capacity. The coalition hopes to put every person experiencing unsheltered homelessness on the path toward permanent housing.
The KCRHA is a new administration created in 2019 and co-funded by the City of Seattle and King County. The authority implements a coordinated, county-wide approach to solving homelessness and is independently operated under the leadership of CEO Marc Dones. Addressing homelessness at a regional level is a new approach for Washington state, but it is a proven and successful model in other parts of the country.
The Partnership for Zero model is designed to quickly react, adjust in real time as lessons are learned, and demonstrate success in a targeted area, using a combination of public and private resources. Downtown Seattle currently holds the largest concentration of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in King County, so Partnership for Zero will initially focus in that area, expanding to other communities in the future.
Partnership for Zero is one of the many ways Amazon is involved in addressing housing issues in the Puget Sound region and elsewhere. The Amazon Housing Equity Fund is providing more than $2 billion in low-rate loans and grants to preserve and create affordable homes for individuals and families earning moderate to low incomes in the Puget Sound region, in and around Arlington, Virginia, and in Nashville, Tennessee. These are three places where Amazon has a sizable and growing presence.
Along with the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, Amazon has provided an additional $100 million in cash and in-kind donations to its nonprofit partner Mary’s Place to build the largest family shelter in Washington state. The shelter is inside an Amazon office building at its Puget Sound headquarters. Amazon has also provided a $5 million gift to Plymouth Housing to provide permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness in Seattle.
Learn more about Amazon's housing equity efforts.