The Richest Person In The World Just Gave $98.5 Million To Help The Homeless

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Thursday 32 organizations that will receive a collective $98.5 million in grants from the Bezos Day One Fund.

It is the second round of the Bezos Day One Families Fund annual leadership awards after the billionaire launched the organization in September 2018 to combat homelessness and provide quality education in low-income communities. Last year, the fund awarded $97.5 million in grants to 24 organizations across the country.

This year’s grantees include long-standing non-profits such as the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, which received the largest grant of $5.25 million.

RT: Jeff Bezos Economic Club of Washington DC 180913

Bezos is the second wealthiest man in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, only behind Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Bezos launched the fund with a $2 billion commitment, split between the Day One Families Fund, which seeks to help homeless families, and the Day One Academies Fund, which hopes to create a “network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities,” Bezos said at the time.

The launch of the fund came amid Amazon’s HQ2 decision last year, which spurred backlash around displacement of affordable housing in the two locations it chose to expand its operations, Long Island City in Queens, New York and an area of Arlington, Virginia. Amazon has since cancelled its plans to move into Long Island City.

Here’s a complete list of the recipients from this year’s fund:

Bethany House Services, Cincinnati, OH • $1.25 million
Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, Spokane, WA • $5 million
Catholic Social Services Alaska, Anchorage, AK • $5 million
Coburn Place, Indianapolis, IN • $1.25 million
Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, Hartford, CT • $2.5 million
Covenant House, New York, NY • $5 million
Family Gateway, Dallas, TX • $2.75 million
FamilyAid Boston, Boston, MA • $5 million
ForKids, Norfolk, VA • $2.5 million
Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, Traverse City, MI • $1.25 million
Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, Fremont, OH • $1.25 million
Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, Orlando, FL • $5.25 million
HOPE Services Hawaii, Hilo, HI • $2.75 million
HopeWorks, Albuquerque, NM • $2.5 million
Interim Community Development Association, Seattle, WA • $2.5 million
Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, Lafayette, IN • $1.25 million
Mary’s Place Seattle, Seattle, WA • $5 million
MIFA, Memphis, TN • $5 million
Our Family Services, Tucson, AZ • $2.5 million
Pathways of Hope, Fullerton, CA • $2.5 million
St. Joseph Center, Venice, CA • $5 million
St. Joseph’s Villa, Richmond, VA $1.25 million
St. Stephen’s Human Services, Minneapolis, MN • $5 million
St. Vincent de Paul, Baltimore, MD • $5 million
The Road Home, Salt Lake City, UT • $5 million
The Road Home Dane County, Madison, WI • $1.25 million
The Whole Child, Whittier, CA • $5 million
UNITY Of Greater New Orleans, New Orleans, LA • $2.5 million
Upward Bound House, Santa Monica, CA • $1.25 million
Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Covington, KY • $1.25 million
West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, Bridgeport, WV • $1.5 million
YWCA Columbus, Columbus, OH • $2.5 million

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A few million dollars might be pocket change to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos with a net worth of about $109 billion.

But to four nonprofits in Los Angeles and Orange counties, onetime grants from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund, gifts ranging from $1.25 million to $5 million, will be life changing for the families they struggle to house.

“It’s huge,” said David Gillanders, executive director of Pathways of Hope in Fullerton about the Bezos gift announced Thursday, Nov. 21. Gillanders noted that the $2.5 million grant is only slightly less than the group’s annual budget of about $2.6 million.

“It’s transformational.”*

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