As part of yesterday’s Homeless in Seattle initiative, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced a $1 million donation to convert a 6,000 square-foot parking lot, in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, into a housing village for the homeless.
The funds will go to the Compass Housing Alliance, a non-profit that provides affordable housing and services for people living on Seattle’s streets.
The Columbia City project will utilize “steel modular pod units,” which are less expensive to build and transport than other housing solutions. The goal is to make secure housing available as quickly as possible.
In addition to living quarters, the housing village will also offer resources to help residents get back on their feet.
“All residents will be guaranteed housing (at the Columbia City location or another location) for as long as they need to establish permanent housing,” said Vulcan Inc., Paul Allen’s investment firm, in a news announcement.
Earlier this year, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray declared a state of emergency related to the homeless crisis.
“The City is prepared to do more as the number of people in crisis continues to rise, but our federal and state partners must also do more,” said Mayor Murray at the time. “Cities cannot do this alone. Addressing homelessness must be a national priority with a federal response.”
Seattle tech companies also are getting more involved, with Amazon.com in April partnering with the non-profit Mary’s Place to create a temporary shelter for 60 to 70 homeless families.
As we reported earlier this week, other organizations also are trying to use technology to combat the homeless issue.