A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Funders Together to End Homelessness Statement on Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos Announcement of $2B Funding Towards Homelessness Initiatives

Funders Together to End Homelessness, a national network of funders with over 230 members, is encouraged to hear of the recent announcement from Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos regarding his $2 billion fund to assist families experiencing homelessness. We applaud his commitment to providing this level of funding towards efforts to address family homelessness.


This announcement adds to the growing trend of corporate investments addressing the homelessness crisis. Because of both past and current structures in our country that perpetuate racism, homelessness disproportionally affects people of color also making this a racial equity crisis. But, there is a solution to the crises at hand: access to safe and affordable housing for everyone. The best way to end family homelessness is to ensure that families and children have a stable home, which is the foundation for better health, consistent employment, and effective education.

Through the years of working with philanthropy and our partners, we’ve learned that funding programs and services that band-aid homelessness can perpetuate a broken system and negate the progress made on making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time. While important and necessary, solely focusing on funding emergency shelters or soup kitchens won’t address homelessness at its core and will only temporarily address needs. Instead, we should look to engage in public-private partnerships and invest in models that put housing at the center of the solution and tackle the affordable housing crisis head on.

Funders Together to End Homelessness supports business leaders in providing this type of giving and is encouraged by the national attention highlighting the issue of homelessness and the factors that contribute to it. While funding of this magnitude is critical to our collective efforts, it is our belief that we can’t end homelessness without philanthropic commitment from funders at all levels. Funding of this size alone will not end homelessness and it is important to remember that some of the most impactful work on homelessness has been driven by small funders who make strategic catalytic investments in systems change. We are confident Mr. Bezos will learn from and follow the lead of those before him who have championed this work in communities across the country.

We look forward to learning more about Mr. Bezos’s efforts and are willing to be a resource as well as facilitate connections to catalytic funders who have invaluable experience and knowledge around preventing and ending homelessness.

Showing 1 reaction

  • Tyler Roxanne
    commented 2018-09-21 18:46:44 -0400
    I know there are shelters, but those are temporary, what I’d like to see provided across the nation, are permanent homes/apartments, as well as partnering with local businesses and schools. I’d appreciate feedback from people who know what is truly needed, instead of advice from people who haven’t experienced homelessness. I applaud Mr. Bezo’s contribution, and hope to see more of this nationwide.

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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