Minneapolis nonprofit gets $2.5M grant from Amazon's Jeff Bezos

Simpson Housing Services is one of 24 organizations selected for grants.
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A Minneapolis nonprofit that helps the homeless will receive a sizable donation from the charitable foundation started by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and wife Mackenzie.

Simpson Housing Services is one of 24 organizations across the U.S. working on family homelessness who will share $97.5 million in donations from the Day 1 Families Fund.

The Minneapolis-based nonprofit, which provides housing, support and advocacy for those experiencing homelessness, will receive a $2.5 million grant from the Families Fund, the largest in its 35-year history.

"We are grateful for this opportunity," said Simpson Housing Services Executive Director Steve Horsfield.

"This support from the Day 1 Families Fund will both increase our capacity to end homelessness for more families and deepen our impact with each family by increasing the reach of our education support programming, which targets the end of generational homelessness."

The service's family housing program currently works with 300 metro area families, including 650 children, helping families find housing, connect them to employment and healthcare services, and provide early childhood home visits and literacy programs.

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In his statement, Bezos – the world's wealthiest man – said the organizations were selected for their "compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter for young families in communities across the country."

"These 24 organizations are working on a number of initiatives that support families in need – from emergency shelter and safe short-term shelter for families to get on their feet, to access and support for permanent housing and support services that help families move forward together," he added.

"We hope these grants provide the additional resources these leaders and their organizations need to expand the scope and impact of their efforts."

While Bezos' foundation is helping nonprofits across the country, it should be noted that in its hometown of Seattle, Amazon earlier this year lobbied against a business tax hike that would have raised $48 million a year to address the city's spiraling homeless problem.

Some say the city's homelessness problem is partially caused by dominant companies like Amazon and Starbucks inflating the city's housing prices.

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