Bill Rumpf, president of Mercy Housing, said that Allen’s is the largest donation ever for a single housing or homelessness project in Washington. Mercy Housing will be running the eight-story complex a block away from the Mount Baker Link light rail station, with partner agencies Mary’s Place and the Refugee Women’s Alliance, The Seattle Times reported.
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is one of the funders for The Seattle Times’ Project Homeless and with the economic boom, Paul Allen’s gift of $30 million comes at a most convenient time. The cost of living has increased dramatically for working-class families in the Seattle and King County areas, where rents have shot up.
The business magnate has followed the project closely throughout its design process. Half of the units are reserved for homeless families. The other half will be for low-income families of three. Bill Rumpf announced that the facility will also include a day resource center for families, with easy access to services intended to divert people from homelessness. Families will get help in finding child care services and also have access to educational programs.
As operating costs are not covered by Allen’s donation, Mercy Housing will be seeking public and private funding to help defray the cost of running the facility, according to Rumpf. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office is contributing $5 million to the project.
Allen's family foundation also provides funds to improve communities throughout the Pacific Northwestern region of the United States, according to its website. It has programs dedicated to education, science as well as the arts. The Seattle Hawks and Portland Trailblazers owner is no stranger to using his fortune to help those in need. His foundation has funded efforts across various subjects through Vulcan Inc., which manages his various business and philanthropic efforts.
Allen is not the only billionaire striving to make a difference-- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also announced recently that he would be donating 1.2 percent of his current wealth to help homeless families and to create a network of nonprofit preschools in poor communities.