Mary's Place will open another "House of Hope" with $3M gift

KING 5's Elisa Hahn reports.

Some Seattle-based companies are joining forces to help end homelessness in King County.

To mark Giving Tuesday, the Starbucks Foundation, along with Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, Dick's Drive-In and other corporations, are giving $3 million to Mary's Place, a non-profit helping families end homelessness.

Mary's Place not only provides shelter to homeless families, but connects them to services to help them get back on their feet.

Hawa Musa says spending an afternoon reading a book to her 1-year-old daughter Samantha, with a roof over her head, means everything.

"She was less than a year old when we were out on the street. It's hard. It's tough," Musa said.

Musa, her husband, and her daughter have been staying at Mary's Place North since October when they fell behind on rent and got evicted. They have food, a place to sleep, and an advocate helping them deal with their debt.

"It's a great center. It's a great environment. There should be hundreds, thousands of them just to help the people in need," Musa said.

The shelter's "No Child Sleeps Outside" campaign got a huge boost Tuesday, almost doubling their annual budget.

"What will this allow us to do? To double our capacity, to bring more children, nor women, more dads inside," said executive director Marty Hartman.

The shelter takes underused buildings like an old Travel Lodge in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood now on loan from Amazon, and turns them into temporary shelters, delivering social services directly to families in crisis.

Mary's Place hopes to recreate the North Seattle shelter somewhere else in King County, where families need it.  Almost every night, 100 people will sleep in the beds here at Mary's Place North. And about 20 more families call every day asking if more beds are available.

"We want to use 24-7 enhanced shelter and using that model of bringing in all non-profits all of our community members and volunteers to help these family move forward, every of the week," said Hartman.

Starbucks is helping customers give to Mary's Place through the month of December at 200 Starbucks locations in King County.  The company will match the donations dollar for dollar. 

Copyright 2016 KING


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