Amazon matches donations to Friendship Place up to $1M to help DC's homeless

- A generous match donation from Amazon will help a DC organization get more homeless families off the streets and into homes and jobs in the local community. Friendship Place announced Wednesday that Amazon has agreed to match all donations made to their organization now through the end of the year—up to $1 million.

Friendship Place works to develop innovative solutions to homelessness in the Washington, D.C. region. Amazon’s gift is the single largest private donation they have ever received.

"We are deeply inspired by this opportunity," said Jean Michel Giraud, President & CEO of Friendship Place. "Through efforts like these, Amazon is bringing its own corporate values of innovation, operational excellence and consumer focus into the social arena. Amazon's gift is the largest private donation Friendship Place has ever received and will have a lasting impact on hundreds of families, helping them to go from emergency situations to long-term housing stability."

There are over 2,500 full-time Amazon employees in the D.C. area—and it’s not the first time the company has given back to a community where its employees reside. Last month, Amazon announced it is building a permanent home for Mary’s Place, an organization that provides emergency shelter and services for women and families who are homeless, with in its new office building in the company’s hometown of Seattle.

The 2017 Point in Time census of homelessness in the D.C. Metro region counted 1,653 families living in homelessness, including 3,271 children.

"Since coming into office, my administration has been focused on ending homelessness in Washington, D.C.," said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. "Organizations like Friendship Place have been leaders in this work, and we are proud of all they've done over the past 26 years to get families and young people into housing. By working together and through partnerships like this one, we know we can make homelessness in D.C. rare, brief, and non-recurring."

Founded in 1991, Friendship Place has long been fighting to end homelessness in the D.C. region. In 2016 alone, Friendship Place prevented or ended homelessness for 1,372 people, including 350 veterans and more than 400 children in the families they served. They also placed 249 people into full-time jobs.

It takes a village. Friendship Place has 120 paid employees, and is supported by 26 congregations and more than 300 volunteers each year.

Amazon's match opportunity puts a spotlight on the urgent, immediate needs of many of these families as well as their need for the stability that only a permanent place to live can provide. In addition to housing support and job placement, donations will assist the organization in providing person-centric emergency assistance including access to free medical and mental health care, food and transportation assistance, moving costs and furniture.

"Friendship Place's impact in D.C. during the past 26 years is evident in the statistics, but it's even more obvious when you hear the stories of the lives they help change," said Jay Carney, Amazon Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs. "Amazonians across the D.C. region are grateful for the opportunity to help a team as successful, compassionate and worthy as Friendship Place, and we're excited to expand our support for organizations that provide emergency services for families and children in need."

For more information and ways to help, visit https://friendshipplace.org/.

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