Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, right, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tour Mary’s Place Family Center, located in an Amazon building in Seattle. (Lucas Jackson Photo via Amazon)
Jeff Bezos played host to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in a recent tour of the Mary’s Place family shelter that is attached to Amazon’s corporate headquarters campus in Seattle.
In a video he posted on Instagram Monday, the Amazon CEO is seen touring the year-old facility with Inslee and Marty Hartman, executive director of Mary’s Place. Bezos’ girlfriend Lauren Sanchez is also present, and at one point in the video she’s seen cradling a baby in her arms while she and Bezos chat with a woman who calls facility staff “amazing” and “100% supportive.”
Bezos toured the “Kids Club” in the 8-floor, 63,000-square-foot facility and speaks with a mother who was “literally praying for someplace to stay” before Mary’s Place called. Bezos also greeted a boy from Honduras named Fidel who had been in the shelter for a week. The boy’s brother, wearing a checkered face mask, got a compliment and a fist bump from Bezos.
“I love your mask,” Bezos said. “It’s like a racing mask. It’s so cool.”
The Mary’s Place Family Center in The Regrade began accepting families last March, and became a critical option for those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the capacity to serve 200 people per night and more than 1,000 family members per year, the shelter is the largest in Washington state. Amazon has committed $100 million in ongoing support for the facility.
Amazon provided some numbers about the shelter’s first year of operations, including:
Provided safe shelter for 700 guests experiencing homelessness.
Provided 43,618 bed nights of safe shelter for parents and kids.
Served more than 130,000 meals to guests.
Provided a first home for 26 newborn babies.
Inslee called the shelter “inspiring and encouraging” and said that it’s “an important piece to addressing our homeless crisis.”
“Mary’s Place does incredible, life-saving work every day for women, children, and families experiencing homelessness in the Seattle community,” Bezos said in 2017 when the shelter plans were announced. “We are lucky to count them as neighbors and thrilled to offer them a permanent home within our downtown Seattle headquarters.”