Jeff Bezos is donating $2.5 million dollars to help people in our community struggling with homelessness.
The Amazon CEO is giving the money to the Minneapolis nonprofit Simpson Housing Services. It's the largest gift they've received.
The money will go toward expanding its family housing program and its work helping people find permanent places to live.
And this move comes the same week Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, announced it will include the first homeless muppet, Lily.
The organization says it is a move to "offer help and hope” regarding a growing problem in the country.
Lily and her family live with another family on Sesame Street - a reality many experience in the Twin Cities.
Dr. Heather Huseby is the executive director for Youth Link. Since the early 1970s, Youth Link has worked with homeless youth, ages 16-23.
“We don't think of children and young people being homeless because many times people see homelessness as someone that is outside asking for money on the street corners,” she said. “It is a reality in the Twin Cities and for young people it is often a hidden problem that we want to kind of bring forward. And for young people it is a growing problem. Youth are the fastest growing population of homelessness. I think that having another way to tell the story with Lily is a way to bring it to light.”
Huseby applauds Sesame Workshop and believes the added character will help lead to prevention.
“Every night, we can have 400 young people that are homeless in the Twin Cities. Every night,” she said. "I think it is great. It will really raise awareness and in a very gentle way but a profound way for children and the public.”