Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ fund to support homeless families announced $117 million in new grants on Tuesday to organizations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, part of a $2 billion commitment that the billionaire made in 2018 to support homeless families and to run free preschools.
That brings the amount granted by the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund to benefit homeless families to almost $640 million.
Bezos’ partner, former news anchor Lauren Sánchez, who is also the vice chair of the Bezos Earth Fund, thanked the grantee organizations in a video posted to both her and Bezos’ social media accounts.
Bezos, the world’s third richest person with a fortune of $170 billion, last yearhe planned to donate much of his fortune to charity over his lifetime. That came after Bezos had come under fire for what critics said was a lack of philanthropic initiatives, especially amid the of his ex-wife, Mackenzie Scott.
Scott, who divorced Bezos in 2019, is the world’s 39th richest person with a fortune of $34 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund did not give a timeframe for when the pledged $2 billion would be distributed or what portion would go to homeless families.
Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon in 2021 to spend more time on his other projects, including the rocket company, Blue Origin, and his philanthropy. Bezos and Sánchez have not signed the Giving Pledge, which asks billionaires to make a similar commitment.
The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte received a second grant this year after first being awarded $5 million by the fund in 2018. Deronda Metz, director of social services, said they can use the funding in more flexible ways than the government grants they receive, including the renovation of a 100 room hotel, hiring additional staff and expanding the facility for an on-campus Boys & Girls Club.
Rents rose sharply in her city following the pandemic, as it did in many cities, meaning that more families are losing their housing and that the cost of getting them into apartments has risen, she said.
“When you have flexible dollars in a rental market like this, you could pay your high rent, you could pay a higher deposit,” Metz said.
Here are the 38 recipients
- Abode Services, Fremont, CA — $5 million
- American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC), Minneapolis, MN — $5 million
- ARVAC Inc., Russellville, AR — $1.25 million
- BronxWorks, New York, NY — $5 million
- Bolivar County Community Action Agency, Inc., Cleveland, MS — $1.25 million
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami, Inc., Miami, FL — $5 million
- Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Seattle, WA — $5 million
- Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Burlington, VT — $5 million
- Community Action Partnership of Kern, Bakersfield, CA — $5 million
- Community of Hope, Inc, Washington, DC — $3.75 million
- Council for the Homeless, Vancouver, WA — $5 million
- Crossroads Rhode Island, Providence, RI — $5 million
- Everyone Home DC, Washington, DC — $2.5 million
- Family Promise of Athens, Athens, GA — $400,000
- Family Promise of Cheyenne, Cheyenne, WY — $150,000
- Family Promise of the Triangle, Raleigh, NC — $1 million
- Family Service Lincoln, Lincoln, NE — $2.5 million
- Hogar Ruth para Mujeres Maltratadas, Inc., Vega Alta, PR — $2.5 million
- Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina, Boone, NC — $2.5 million
- Interfaith Community Services, Escondido, CA — $5 million
- Ka Mana O Na Helu, Pearl City, HI — $2.5 million
- La Fondita de Jesús, San Juan, PR — $2.5 million
- Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, Salem, OR — $5 million
- Native American Connections, Phoenix, AZ — $5 million
- Neighborhood Place of Puna, Puna, HI — $2.5 million
- Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority, Ukiah, CA — $2.5 million
- Primavera Foundation, Tucson, AZ — $5 million
- Shelter House, Inc, Fairfax, VA — $2.5 million
- Stewpot Community Services, Inc., Jackson, MS — $1.25 million
- Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, Fort Worth, TX — $2.5 million
- Temporary Emergency Services, Inc., Tuscaloosa, AL —$1 million
- The Salvation Army, Fort Myers Area Command, Fort Myers, FL — $2.5 million
- The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, Charlotte, NC — $3.75 million
- UMOM New Day Centers, Phoenix, AZ — $5 million
- United Communities Against Poverty, Inc. (UCAP), Capitol Heights, MD • $1.25 million
- United Way of Yellowstone County, Billings, MT • $2.5 million
- Wisconsin Balance of State CoC, Eau Claire, WI — $1.25 million
- YWCA Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH — $1.25 million