Starbucks, Microsoft and other Seattle-area companies are raising awareness about homelessness and raising money for its annual “No Child Sleeps Outside” campaign by Mary’s Place, a non-profit that helps homeless women and children reclaim their lives.
The third Annual “No Child Sleeps Outside” campaign raises money for King County and Seattle-area families, over 500 of which are homeless, sleeping in cars, tents, doorways and under bridges. There has been a spike in homelessness over the past two years around Seattle and the wait for emergency shelter has risen with it. The Starbucks Foundation and Schultz Family Foundation are big supporters of the campaign and they are joining together with other area businesses to mobilize the community and contribute over $3m to provide emergency shelter for those families living without a home.
Other companies lending their support include Microsoft, Amazon, Alaska Airlines, Nordstrom, the Seattle Mariners, Expedia among others.
There are efforts by the city of Seattle and its mayor, Edward B. Murray, to help alleviate the homeless problem through the “Pathways Home” program that will shift towards re-housing, but these programs may take months and emergency housing is needed now.
“The 500 families with small children who are sleeping outside in King County cannot wait for the promised reforms and housing that will take a year or more,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks and co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation. “We need to treat this daily tragedy with the same urgency that would follow any natural disaster. This is a short-term but urgent humanitarian need, and we are proud to join other Seattle employers in the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign.”
Those who would like to donate to the cause can visit the No Child Sleeps Outside website.