NEW ORLEANS — The homeless in New Orleans are getting a bit of help from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Day 1 Families Fund.
The fund is providing a $5 million grant to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans to help the homeless in south Louisiana, The Times-Picayune reported.
Catholic Charities is one of 24 nonprofits to receive a portion of the $97.5 million being doled out across the county by the fund. Officials say the grants, announced Tuesday, are the first of what will be an annual distribution of funds by the Bezos charity to support families in need.
Sister Marjorie Hebert, president and CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, said her organization is grateful to be selected as a recipient.
“The need is great,” Hebert said. “There are hundreds of people in New Orleans who do not have a place to live, and Catholic Charities is committed to serving those in need. This grant will be critical in helping us continue to provide a comprehensive network of social services that connects our clients to resources and acts as a springboard to self-sufficiency.”
In September, Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, launched the $2 billion Day 1 Fund. That fund consists of two programs: The Day 1 Families Fund that provides grants to non-profits fighting homelessness, and the Day 1 Academies Fund, geared toward creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.
“The goal of the Day 1 Families Fund awards is to shine a light and support the organizations that are doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter for young families in communities across the country,” Bezos said in announcing the recipients.
The individual grants range from $2.5 million to $5 million. The recipients include non-profits from 16 states and the District of Columbia, according to Bezos’s charity.
The 24 organizations that will receive funds are “working on a number of initiatives that support families in need – from emergency shelter and safe short-term shelter for families to get on their feet, to access and support for permanent housing and support services that help families move forward together,” Bezos said in the announcement. “We hope these grants provide the additional resources these leaders and their organizations need to expand the scope and impact of their efforts.”
Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon, founder of the Blue Origin rocket company and owner of The Washington Post. Earlier this year, Forbes declared him the wealthiest person in the world with a current net worth of about $150 billion.