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St. Louis shelter receives Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant worth $1.25M

The grant is meant to help families facing homelessness in the City of St. Louis.
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — Gateway180 Homeless Services in St. Louis announced Tuesday that it has received a $1.25 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund. This grant is the largest gift in the organization’s history.

Gateway180 is the largest, 24-hour residential emergency shelter for women, children and families in the state of Missouri. 

The family shelter strives to move those facing homelessness from shelters and then permanent housing with the services they require to achieve stability, according to the release. 

Kathy Connors, executive director of Gateway180, said this generous grant will allow them to do just that. 

The shelter can provide greater flexibility to understand the needs of our families and, in response, offer wrap-around support tailored to their specific challenges to help them work toward their long-term goals of housing stability.

According to Conners, this one-time grant will also help Gateway180 in its tireless work to support families as they reel from skyrocketing rent costs, limited services and insufficient incomes. 

“Gateway180 plans to use the grant funds to continue to innovate in how it approaches comprehensive solutions for families, including partnering with and incentivizing motels," she said. 

Also, partnering with landlords to provide stable housing and working one-on-one with families to ensure they have the support they need to succeed -- from down payments and financial assistance to addiction treatment and childcare, she said.

The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund fund was launched in 2018 by Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos and issues annual leadership awards to leading organizations on the frontlines that are employing compassionate, needle-moving work, according to the release. 

Over the past five years, the fund has provided 170 grants totaling more than $520 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families get housing support and stability. 

The fund has also made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas including funding existing nonprofits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. 

For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund

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