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Seattle nonprofit lands gifts from big companies for homeless housing effort

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Adrian Florez

Thanks in part to gifts from companies such as Amazon and Microsoft, Seattle-based Plymouth Housing is on its way to raising millions of dollars for hundreds of units of permanent supportive housing.

The nonprofit developer announced Tuesday it has raised $48.8 million toward a $75 million goal to build 800 units of permanent supportive housing over the next several years.

Some of that money has come through partnerships with Providence St. Joseph Health, Premera Blue Cross and Swedish Health Services. It also comes from corporate gifts from major companies and philanthropic organizations.

"We presented them with a plan. We asked them to go big, and they did," said Plymouth CEO Paul Lambros.

The news comes about a year after business leaders successfully led an effort to repeal a tax on large businesses in Seattle that would have partly funded the city's efforts to build affordable housing.

Plymouth is planning eight buildings total, featuring studio apartments and wraparound services. One project is already under construction Seattle's Chinatown-International District. Three others, in the First Hill and Uptown neighborhoods, are set to break ground in 2020 and 2021. 

"There's a lot of definite frustration out there that we totally acknowledge people have about the homeless situation in our community," said Lambros. "We're just going to get on with it and get more and more people off the streets, build this housing, get the services necessary to improve people's lives."