The campaign, which was aimed at ending family homelessness in the region, reached the record amount in just over 30 days.
Seattle’s addiction to coffee and its love of late-night burgers and fries played a huge part in raising a record $4.5 million in just over 30 days for the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign, aimed at ending family homelessness in the region.
The campaign, which raised just $10,000 in 2013 — its first year — drew support from 40 Seattle-based corporations like Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, Nordstrom, Weyerhaeuser and Microsoft, and not long after Seattle Mayor Ed Murray had declared a state of emergency on homelessness.
The money will benefit Mary’s Place, which operates two day centers and six crisis-response family shelters in Seattle.
The nonprofit hopes to open a family shelter next month in White Center, where the county had planned for a men’s shelter in a former Health Department facility. When neighbors opposed that plan, the county asked Mary’s Place to take over.
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A community meeting was scheduled for Tuesday night.
“We’re working on it,” said Mary’s Place Executive Director Marty Hartman.
The $4.5 million announcement was at Mary’s Place Guest Rooms, where Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine were joined by Jasmine Donovan of the Dick’s Drive-In chain, which started the campaign three years ago; Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson; Sheri Schultz, co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation; and other business leaders.
“We treated this like disaster relief,” Johnson said, adding that 200 stores and 60,000 Starbucks customers donated to the campaign. The coffee giant matched donations up to $1 million.
Sheri Schultz — whose foundation donated $1 million — noted that she has lived in Seattle for 34 years now, “and there are so many tents and so many people living on the streets, they have their own ZIP code.
“We have to do better.”