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Jeff Bezos charity gives $5M to Catholic Charities to help the homeless

Catholic Charities is working on the project with the City of Spokane, Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Preparatory School.

Editor's note: The above video features then mayoral candidate Ben Stuckart and mayor elect Nadine Woodward speaking on the topic of homelessness and what the city can do to improve.

SPOKANE, Wash -The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund selected Catholic Charities Eastern Washington (CCEW) to receive a $5 million grant that will help fund the Gonzaga Family Haven Project. 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launched the fund to help organizations working to provide shelter and hunger support for families with young children. 

The "Day 1" name comes from Bezos' insistence that it is always Day 1 at Amazon. Amazon's main headquarters building in Seattle is also called Day 1.

The project will provide families with housing and support programs such as on-site case management, access to healthcare, counseling, and employment services. According to a press release from Catholic Charities Eastern Washington spokesperson Sarah Yerden, the new housing complex will be located on the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Foothills Drive.

Catholic Charities is working on the project with the City of Spokane, as well as Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Preparatory School. 

In a statement on the new housing, President and CEO of Catholic Charities Rob McCann said, "Families, and most importantly, children need a roof over their heads at night before they can think about anything else." 

Students at Gonzaga Preparatory School will help out the families moving into the new housing complex by offering educational and enrichment programs. Gonzaga University plans to have their students volunteer with the new families through their youth mentoring programs, as well as by providing community meals and wellness activities.  

Catholic Charities Eastern Washington is one of 32 nonprofits across the nation to receive the second annual Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant as part of a nation wide investment to help solve family homelessness in America. 

While this new grant certainly helps the Gonzaga Family Haven take another step in the right direction, the housing project still has a couple of hurdles to overcome, namely applying for federal tax credits, and housing trust fund support from the State of Washington. 

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