Salvation Army Receives $5M From Jeff Bezos For Homeless Shelter And Training
The Salvation Army of Charlotte has gotten its biggest donation ever — a $5 million grant from a foundation run by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The grant, intended to help fight homelessness, came from the Day One Families Fund, founded by Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie. It was one of 24 nationwide that, combined, total $97.5 million.
Maj. Larry Broome, area commander for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, said the organization will use the money to expand shelter space for intact families and to help clients find permanent housing and jobs.
“Ultimately, our goal, with the help of this grant, is to reduce the demand for emergency shelter in our community,” Broome said in a press release.
Among other things, the Salvation Army plans to hire housing "navigators" to help clients identify and apply for housing. It also plans to add GED classes, job training, resume building and other classes in an effort to help residents build income and escape homelessness, the group says.
The Salvation Army also expects to add shelter capacity.
“One vital aspect missing in our community is dedicated shelter space to serve intact families,” said Deronda Metz, The Salvation Army’s director of social services. “These funds will allow us to evaluate our capital needs and determine an actionable plan for serving these families.”
The Salvation Army has four years to use the funds, according to a spokesman.
The organization runs the Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter for women and children on Spratt Street.