Jeff Bezos’ Day One Fund awards $98.5M in grants to organizations battling homelessness

Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s Day One Fund today announced $98.5 million in new grants for organizations that aim to prevent and reduce homelessness.

The grants from the Families Fund went to 32 organizations across 23 states. Last year, the fund awarded $97.5 million in grants to 24 organizations.

Among the recipients this year is Mary’s Place, a Seattle nonprofit that helps homeless women and children and gave Bezos the inspiration to support homelessness organizations. Mary’s Place has been a frequent partner of Amazon, and the tech giant even set aside space in one of its new office towers for a new homeless shelter for the organization.

Here are all the organizations in Amazon’s home state of Washington that received grants this year.

  • Catholic Charities Eastern Washington, Spokane: $5 million
  • Interim Community Development Association, Seattle: $2.5 million
  • Mary’s Place, Seattle: $5 million

Bezos launched the Day One Fund last September with an initial commitment of $2 billion. “Day One” is a reference to Bezos’ mantra at Amazon, that it’s essential to approach every day with the enthusiasm and energy of a new venture because it’s “always Day One.”

In addition to supporting organizations that aim to prevent and reduce homelessness, the fund also has plans to “launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.” The Day One Fund hasn’t shared much information on that part of its mission, saying only that it is building up the organization.

The fund is applying the same set of principles that Amazon is based on, most notably customer obsession. In the case of the fund’s early education push, the customers are kids in underserved communities.

Here are the rest of the recipients of the 2019 Families Fund Grants:

  • Bethany House Services, Cincinnati, OH: $1.25 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
  • Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, Lafayette, IN: $1.25 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