While we harbour dreams of having an in-house barista in our office to cater to our every caffeinated whim, online retail giant Amazon has re-imagined the humble office with a much more socially conscious initiative.
Amazon is set to demolish its previous six-storey block, which served as a homeless shelter called Mary’s Place, in favour of two swish new office towers. But the company won’t get rid of its philanthropic roots altogether – it’s dedicating six floors of the new digs to an updated, modernised Mary’s Place.
The project, which is expected to cost the company tens of millions of dollars, is set to open in 2020 with some pretty notable features: covering a space of 47,000 square feet, the new Mary’s Place will be able to house around 220 people in 65 rooms, where rent and utility bills will be free.
Any resident of Mary’s will “earn their keep” by committing to meet certain housing goals to aspire to, like keeping up with employment applications or enrolling in job-training programs or schooling.
CEO Jeff Bezos has himself donated US$1 million to the project, after donations reached over US$2 million.
“Mary’s Place does incredible, life-saving work every day for women, children, and families experiencing homelessness in the Seattle community,” Jeff said in a press release. “We are lucky to count them as neighbours and thrilled to offer them a permanent home within our downtown Seattle headquarters – Amazon employees and Mary’s Place residents will move in together in early 2020.”
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