Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches $2B fund for homeless, low-income families

Bezos Amazon board visiting Washington but no headquarters announcement planned

The fund will be split between Day 1 Families Fund and Day 1 Academies Fund.

He said the cash will also provide funding to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship" pre-schools in "underserved communities".

Earlier this year, under pressure from Amazon and other large employers, Seattle's City Council repealed an employee head tax created to provide housing and services for the homeless.

Along with running Amazon the tech mogul owns space exploration company Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.

"We will build an organization to directly operate these schools".

The Bezos cash injection follows the philanthropic efforts of other billionaires including Microsoft's Bill Gates, who has donated tens of billions to his foundation.

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The signing came in the same week that San Francisco will host a Global Climate Action Summit on September 12-15. He also signed a bill, SB100, making the state's electricity completely emissions-free by 2045.

Ericsson, T-Mobile ink $3.5 billion deal to facilitate 5G deployment
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Gates has also, with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, encouraged wealthy individuals to pledge half their fortunes to worthy causes.

An Amazon spokesman didn't have details on who would run Bezos' new initiative, or where the group would be based.

Despite his fortune, Bezos has not been a major philanthropic donor and Amazon has been criticized in its home of Seattle, Washington, for doing little to address problems of the growing homeless population. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million USA in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. While his and Amazon investors' wealth increases-and the company's market capitalization approaches $1 trillion-what makes the business so efficient is that relies on automation and low-priced labor. His net worth has risen by $64.7 billion this year alone as Amazon's shares have surged.

Geek Wire reports that as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Amazon has also rolled out a specially branded Prime Air jet and made charitable donations to two institutions working toward better awareness of childhood cancer.

Amazon has selected 20 cities as "finalists" for the headquarters and has indicated it would make a decision by year-end.

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