We are beyond thrilled for our friends at Mary’s Place! Today, Amazon.com surprised the organization with a truly incredible gift, a permanent home in the heart of South Lake Union. The best part? The new facility will be “rent-free, with utility bills paid. Forever.”
The Mary’s Place mission is to empower homeless women, children, and families to reclaim their lives. Emergency night shelters are a haven, day centers provide solace and a safe place to rest and access resources, and the community supports healing and hope.
Prior to Amazon’s incredible gift, Mary’s Place downtown center operated out of an outdated Travelodge (owned by Amazon), but this space was never meant to be a permanent home. In fact, the hotel is scheduled to be torn down in October 2017, making room for two new Amazon office buildings. What Mary’s Place didn’t know was that Amazon planned to devote significant space in those buildings to the organization – giving it a six-story, 47,000-square-foot shelter that can house more than 200 people in 65 rooms.
In the video, you can see the exact moment when John Schoettler, Amazon’s Head of Real Estate, shares the news with Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary’s Place. It’s moving, especially when Hartman exclaims, “We finally got the keys to our own place!”