Four Ways Jeff Bezos’s $2 Billion Could Make the Biggest Impact on Homelessness Among Children and Families

Blog posted On October 02, 2018

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced a $2 billion investment last week that will fund organizations fighting childhood homelessness and develop high-quality preschools in low-income communities. As this news thrusts the issue into the national spotlight, it’s important to underscore that homelessness is a solvable problem. A lack of funding and political will, not a lack of solutions, are the biggest obstacles to ending homelessness. And this kind of funding infusion could move the needle closer to reaching that goal.

Although we don’t know how much of the Bezos Day One Fund’s $2 billion would go toward addressing homelessness or over how many years it would span, the announcement highlighted his focus on providing “shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.”

About 58,000 families experience homelessness on a given night, and an estimated 150,000 families (and 340,000 children) use shelter over the course of a year. But only about 17,000 people living in families (5,000 to 8,000 households) sleep unsheltered on any given night across the country.

Shelters are an important stopgap measure to ensuring no child sleeps outside, but the solution to homelessness is access to affordable housing.