SEATTLE--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Starbucks Foundation and Schultz Family Foundation announced today their support of the annual No Child Sleeps Outside campaign by Mary’s Place. Together with other businesses, they are joining an unprecedented effort to mobilize the community, and contributing over $3 million to provide safe emergency shelter for the estimated 500 unsheltered families in King County, including hundreds of children. The campaign also has the support of companies like Microsoft Corp., Dick’s Drive-In, Comcast, Alaska Airlines, Weyerhaeuser, Expedia, Nordstrom, Bank of America, Key Bank Foundation, Group Health, Seattle Mariners, as well as the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Seattle Association, which together represent thousands of Seattle businesses.
“King County is facing an unprecedented homelessness crisis and more than 500 families are sleeping outside each night in places unfit for habitation”
Following a 20 percent jump in the homeless count last year, families with young children are waiting months for emergency shelter, leaving many sleeping on the streets, in cars and parks across the community. This move by The Starbucks Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Microsoft, and others supports an immediate expansion of Mary’s Place, and responds to the critical, short-term need to bring unsheltered families inside. Separately, the organizations also expressed support for the mayor’s Pathways Home strategy, which addresses some of the systemic problems contributing to the homeless crisis. It includes a shift towards rapid rehousing (providing assistance and services to help those experiencing homelessness to quickly find housing), funding for expanded shelter hours at several shelters, and the creation of lockers for the homeless. Recognizing that city and county reforms to provide affordable housing will take months or years, supporters of the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign believe it is critical to provide immediate emergency shelter for hundreds of children.
“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.”
Mary’s Place, which runs the annual No Child Sleeps Outside campaign, is a 17-year-old emergency shelter organization with six locations throughout the county that operates primarily with private funding. Mary’s Place provides emergency shelter to nearly 40 percent of families experiencing homelessness across King County – serving 115-120 families per night, and 400 families throughout the year. However, 20 families a day are still turned away because there is not enough capacity at these shelters.
“King County is facing an unprecedented homelessness crisis and more than 500 families are sleeping outside each night in places unfit for habitation,” said Marty Hartman, executive director of Mary’s Place. “It breaks our hearts to have to turn them away each day. We are so incredibly grateful for the support of our business partners like Starbucks, Microsoft, the Schultz Family Foundation, and so many others who are making it possible for us to expand our services and bring more families inside to warmth, safety, and stability.”
“No child should have to sleep outside at night. We must come together as a community to address this vital need as a local imperative,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft president. “We are pledging $1 million, including $250,000 to Mary’s Place, to address homelessness across King County. We will support partners throughout the area to pursue both short- and long-term systemic solutions, including permanent housing.”
Starbucks Foundation to Match Customer Donations in more than 200 King County Stores in December
In addition to a $1 million financial contribution to the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign, The Starbucks Foundation will match every dollar donated by customers in participating King County Starbucks® stores between December 1st and 31st, up to an additional $1 million dollars to help shelter local families. The Starbucks Foundation will also allocate an additional $250,000 to other local nonprofits, including the United Way, YWCA, and Youth Care, that connect homeless families and youth to job placement programs and other critical services.
Howard and Sheri Schultz, co-founders of the Schultz Family Foundation, are also personally contributing $1 million to Mary’s Place through the Schultz Family Foundation to expand both shelter capacity and the organization’s ability to move families into permanent housing. In addition, the Schultz Family Foundation will continue to support other Seattle homelessness organizations to reduce the number of unsheltered youth and young adults.
About Mary’s Place
Mary’s Place empowers homeless women, children, and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing, and hope in a safe community. Mary’s Place operates six crisis response family shelters providing refuge and community for 400 family members experiencing homelessness. The organization focuses on an innovative strategy of combining prevention, emergency shelter, and resources for transition into housing to bring families out of homelessness. At their Family Center, Mary’s Place provides shelter, services, and resources in the same building. This allows families, together with their assigned Housing & Wellness Advocates, to focus on individualized plans for overcoming barriers and finding employment and stable housing. It does all this cost effectively in loaned buildings that are empty and awaiting development for just dollars per night.
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at news.starbucks.com or www.starbucks.com.
About Schultz Family Foundation
The Schultz Family Foundation was co-founded in 1996 by Sheri Kersch Schultz and her husband Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo of Starbucks Coffee Company. Guided by a belief that an “inequality of opportunity” is stifling America’s potential, the Foundation invests in innovative programs and partnerships that unlock human potential, remove barriers to success, and create new pathways to opportunity. The Schultz Family Foundation currently supports two signature national initiatives: Onward Youth and Onward Veterans. For more information, visit http://schultzfamilyfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter @SchultzFamilyFd.