Homeless Initiative Nonprofits to Receive Grants
2020 has been quite a mess and a really bad year for millions upon millions of people. When the Covid-19 virus hit, it quickly became a global pandemic, and people from all normal demographics have been suffering. It is estimated that 60% of America's small businesses are gone. Just gone. And the homeless have paid a very heavy toll, not to even mention that hundreds of thousands of people became homeless during the pandemic, adding to an already alarming total of people forced to live on the streets. In the San Francisco Bay area, some organizations are finally going to attempt to do something about this, by providing some grant relief money to anti-homelessness initiative nonprofits in the area.
The Day 1 Families Fund will give two anti-homelessness orgs millions of dollars in grant money, heading into the holiday season. It's worth noting here that the Day 1 Fund is a private organization founded in 2018 by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, and it's not a government organization spending any of that CARES Act money on America's hardest hit demographics.
The Bezos-led fund will grant $1.25 million to the Time for Change Foundation and $2.5 million to the East Oakland Community Project. Both of these organizations attempt to combat homelessness by assisting people in getting back on their feet, finding temporary shelter and full-time employment, and helping to get them situated in homes.
The real complication with giving this sort of grant money out to the homeless is really in making the homeless aware that it's available. These aren't people with smartphones in their pockets getting notified of such things. They're not watching television and seeing this news announced to them. It's very hard to get aid to the people who need it the most because these organizations have to possess a good ground game. This means that they need actual people on the streets and checking out where the homeless gather. You can't just put out a newsletter or something and get their attention. These are people who must be sought out and helped, which makes helping them very complex from start to finish.
The goal, however, is to find families in need; at least that's the demographic that will take top priority. Many families have been entirely displaced during the pandemic. Some are brand new to homelessness, and were actually doing well prior to the pandemic. Many had thriving businesses and could afford their lifestyles. However, once their businesses shuttered and no more money was coming in, many lived in areas where banks and landlords still threw them out due to their inability to pay. And some of the homeless out there have unfortunately been suffering for a very long time. It is estimated that there are at least 2,000 entire families in the Bay Area who are without a home. The sense of urgency is real, as families are not likely to stay families for long when there's that much suffering happening.
The Least Bezos Can Do
After this news was announced, it didn't take long for Bezos to come under fire. He's giving less than $4 million to people in the Bay Area, after government shut down the vast majority of these brick and mortar businesses, including grocers and other shops in many instances, which forced people to shop with places like Amazon for the things they need. And no matter where one stands on the political spectrum, it's just objective reality that Amazon took advantage of this by upping their prices. The end result is that during 2020's pandemic, which is still ongoing, the great charitable Jeff Bezos doubled his net worth and is now worth over $180 billion dollars. "Billion," with a "B." $4 million is less than 0.1% of 0.1% of his wealth. He earns exponentially more than in a single day.
So, while there are some families that are going to benefit here, many critics of the ultra-rich want you to understand that Jeff Bezos isn't even giving an hour of his net worth away. The government-backed monopoly he was running, claim many critics, enabled him to earn an estimated $10 billion per month for every month normal people were suffering under the pandemic and were being funneled to his store for the things they needed.
This seems to be objectively fair criticism. Perhaps $4 billion would have been a more honorable number, which still would leave him with $86 billion in profit from the pandemic.
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