Generic Amazon

After creating its personal greenhouses, drones, and an airline, Amazon is embarking on its subsequent eyebrow-raising undertaking: a homeless shelter.

The shelter will probably be a everlasting a part of the retail large’s increasing company campus in downtown Seattle, the New York Instances reports. It’ll occupy 47,000 sq. ft—roughly half the whole space—of a brand new workplace constructing Amazon plans to construct, and is able to housing as much as 220 folks.

The thought for the shelter was born partly out of coincidence along with the pure goodness of Amazon’s coronary heart, nevertheless: the corporate is snapping up actual property in downtown Seattle as quick as it could possibly, and one of many properties it purchased occurred to include an previous lodge, which was turned into a temporary homeless shelter final yr.

The lodge will probably be demolished, and moderately than kick out the nonprofit that runs the shelter housed there, Amazon will spend tens of tens of millions to assemble a everlasting shelter within the constructing that can ultimately change it, in line with the Instances. The nonprofit, Mary’s Place, will occupy the area with out having to pay lease or utilities.

Tech firms are sometimes criticized for taking up huge swaths of actual property and jacking up housing costs, however the homeless shelter is the newest instance that Amazon is making an attempt to be a great neighbor. It has additionally introduced constructing plans to the town of Seattle without asking for customary tax breaks or different similair concessions.

In the meantime, in Silicon Valley, different tech-backed initiatives to handle the housing crunch are afoot. Final fall, Fb announced it might spend $20 million to assemble inexpensive housing models and help tenants dealing with eviction. Activists have previously criticized Fb for increasing its workplace footprint and not using a clear plan to handle revenue inequality and inexpensive housing.