Pasadena-based Union Station Homeless Services has been selected to receive a $5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—the largest private grant in the nonprofit’s nearly 50-year history.
“Union Station is deeply grateful for this transformational gift. It will help deepen and expand our work, which would not be possible without the support of our community members,” said Anne Miskey, Chief Executive Officer of Union Station Homeless Services.
Union Station helps individuals and families rebuild their lives and end homelessness in the San Gabriel Valley.
“This grant is an incredible validation of our commitment to connect people to safe housing paired with high-quality, trauma-informed services. This approach is further backed up by an astounding 97% housing retention success rate. This is proof that we are not just managing homelessness, we are helping end homelessness, one family at a time. Once we help families find housing, they stay housed for good.”
This one-time grant will allow Union Station to help more unhoused families and take its services to the next level by improving its buildings to ensure residences are trauma-informed and include play areas for children.
It will also help Union Station to expand its housing stock, train front-line staff to recognize the signs of domestic violence and connect clients with resources and provide families exiting homelessness with funds to help them settle into their new permanent homes.
Plans include renovations of the Family Center to create a “more trauma-informed private space for our families who are in our center,” said Miskey, as well as “hiring more staff to look for housing.”
The Bezos grant will be administered over a five-year period, said Miskey, who added, “We will be rolling out a number of initiatives.”
Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and Executive Chair Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.
Union Station Homeless Services was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board comprised of homelessness experts with experience in policy, advocacy, racial equity, child welfare and housing and service delivery, as well as firsthand experience in homelessness.
This year $96.2 million in grants were awarded to 32 organizations across the country.
The Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing non-profits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, non-profit tier-one preschools in low-income communities.
The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. Since 2018, the Day 1 Families Fund has issued 130 grants totaling more than $398 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families gain housing support and stability. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit: www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.