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June 17, 2019

Amazon donates $8M to HQ cities Seattle and Arlington to fight homelessness

June 12, 2019
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos addresses the audience during a keynote session at the Amazon Re:MARS conference on robotics and artificial intelligence at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 6, 2019. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Amazon’s prime motives remain a mystery.

The company announced in a press release Tuesday that it will donate $8 million to combat homelessness in headquarter cities Seattle and Arlington, Va. The move follows last year’s controversial opposition to a tax hike that would have raised $48 million to benefit Seattle’s homeless.

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Amazon will give $5 million to Plymouth Housing to help “provide permanent supportive housing” for Seattle’s homeless, particularly those who are physically disabled, have mental illnesses or chemical dependency. The company will also donate $3 million to Arlington Community Foundation “to increase access to affordable housing for low-income families and veterans.” Through Sept. 30, Amazon will immediately match employee donations to certain charities targeting these issues in both cities.

Amazon, according to the press release, has contributed over $130 million to Mary’s Place and FareStart since 2016 to aid Seattle’s homelessness crisis.

Ironically though, this Wednesday marks one year since the local Seattle City Council obliged Amazon and many other businesses’ opposition to a tax hike targeting large employers.

The tax initiative would have raised $48 million each year “to combat Seattle’s homelessness and affordable housing crises,” according to The Washington Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is worth over $150 billion as of May.

Amazon’s position earned flack from local residents and politicians who felt the company wasn’t paying its “fair share,” NBC News reports.

This encouraged community push back during the company’s hunt for a new headquarters. Amazon bowed out of choosing Long Island City, Queens, citing “a number of state and local politicians [who] have made it clear that they oppose our presence.”

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