Business Community Steps Up to Support Homeless Families in King County

With homelessness at an emergency level in King County, business leaders including the Starbucks Foundation, the Schultz Family Foundation, Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, Weyerhaeuser, Expedia, Nordstrom, Comcast, Bank of America, Key Bank Foundation, Group Health Cooperative, Dick’s Drive-In, Seattle Mariners, as well as the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Seattle Association announced their support of the annual No Child Sleeps Outside campaign. In an extraordinary effort to mobilize the business community and our neighbors, they are contributing over $3 million to provide safe emergency shelter for the estimated 500 unsheltered families in King County.

This move by the Starbucks Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Microsoft, and others includes an immediate expansion of emergency shelter to bring unsheltered families inside and supports All Home’s County-wide plan as well as the City of Seattle’s Pathways Home strategies to address longer-term systemic change to truly make homelessness rare, brief and one-time.
“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 cofounder 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.”

In addition to the Starbucks Foundation’s financial contribution, for the first time, over 200 Starbucks stores in King County will offer customers an opportunity to donate directly to Mary’s Place. Every dollar donated by customers during the month of December will be matched by the Starbucks Foundation, up to an additional $1 million dollars to help shelter local families. The Starbucks Foundation is also investing an additional $250,000 to connect homeless families and youth with job placement programs and other critical services through local community partners such as the United Way, YWCA, and YouthCare.

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