Real Estate Investment and Development Company Contributes $500,000 to Mary’s Place Towards its Rapid Response Fund, Prevention / Stability Efforts and Digital Literacy Initiative
SEATTLE – Gemdale USA Corporation, an affiliate of Gemdale Properties & Investments, announced today it has made a $500,000 one-time contribution to Mary’s Place in support of the organization’s mission of providing safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness. The Gemdale cash contribution will serve a range of programmatic needs at Mary’s Place, which has helped thousands of women and families to transition into more stable living situations since its inception in 1999.
“We want to make a fundamental, positive difference for people who live and work in the communities where we do business — including those who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Evan Kaseguma, Managing Director of Acquisitions at Gemdale USA’s Seattle office. “We’re thrilled to partner with such a remarkable organization that’s improving the lives of so many in this region.”
Gemdale has become increasingly active in downtown Seattle, currently developing two projects in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood: Skyglass Tower, a residential high-rise located at 222 Dexter Avenue North, and 618 John Street, a 240,000-square-foot office building located at the former Quality Inn & Suites.
Mary’s Place is a significant resource to underserved populations in the region, currently experiencing one of the worst homelessness crises in the country. Over the past several years, Mary’s Place has taken a leadership role in helping hundreds of women and families to transition from homelessness into more safe and stable situations. The organization has accomplished this goal through providing emergency shelter and mobile outreach, along with comprehensive programs aimed at helping unsheltered families find housing quickly, preventing homelessness, and helping families achieve housing stability through ongoing support.
“These incredible gifts will help hundreds of families who are struggling to manage the financial impacts of this pandemic keep, or find, safe, stable housing, and provide access to technology to help them search for jobs and housing,” said Marty Hartman, Executive Director at Mary’s Place. “We are so grateful to the Gemdale team for their compassion and partnership in addressing our community crisis of family homelessness!”
Gemdale’s partnership with Mary’s Place comes at a critical juncture in Seattle’s homelessness crisis. One recent study, conducted by the City of Seattle in cooperation with King County, estimates nearly 12,000 individuals and some 1,200 families in downtown are experiencing homelessness on any given night — nearly half of them completely unsheltered. The crisis has been exacerbated further by the Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn that together have put at risk hundreds of additional individuals and families in need. Moreover, studies show that homelessness disproportionately affects people of color, people living with disabilities, and young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).
Mary’s Place relies on community partnerships with companies like Gemdale to meet a wide range of organizational needs. The organization lost 300 beds at the start of the pandemic due to distancing and safety concerns and went from 800 to just 500 beds per night for families in our community. The loss would have been more dramatic without last year’s opening of Mary’s Place Family Center in the Regrade, a shelter built inside Amazon headquarters.
Gemdale’s one-time cash contribution will help to support the following critical programs at Mary’s Place over the next few years:
- Rapid Response: This Mary’s Place program helps families to keep their hard-won homes, addresses barriers to help families in cars and tents return quickly to housing, and offers safe shelter and resources for families who have lost their homes.
- Prevention / Stability: Mary’s Place works with recently housed families and landlords to provide support for families incurring debt to prevent a return to homelessness once eviction moratoriums are lifted. The program is especially crucial with homelessness rising rapidly due to job loss and other Covid-related items.
- Digital Literacy: Gemdale’s contribution will also help Mary’s Place to create more private and secure Internet workspaces in its shelters and day center — providing desks with computers where guests can access information, apply for jobs and work on their housing goals. Digital literacy and access are oftentimes barriers for families to moving forward to stable housing.
- In-Kind Gifts: In addition to cash, Gemdale has donated several in-kind items as part of its effort to make a positive impact on the neighborhoods where it does business. These include furniture and equipment for Mary’s Place’s five family shelters and one drop-in women’s day center.
Gemdale’s Kaseguma added, “We believe that being good stewards of the community where we live and work is an important part of our business. This partnership with Mary’s Place comes at a critical time, especially with the eviction moratorium expiration at the end of October.”
About Gemdale USA Corporation
Gemdale Properties & Investments, a subsidiary of Gemdale Corporation, is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (535.HK) and is principally engaged in residential, commercial and business park investment, development and management. Gemdale Corporation (600383.SH) was founded in 1988 and listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2001. In the United States, Gemdale USA is a real estate investment and development company headquartered in Pasadena, California, with additional offices in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Dallas. Gemdale USA develops commercial, multifamily rental and mixed-use projects. The Gemdale USA executive management team has extensive experiences in U.S. real estate development, acquisition, project management, asset management, and real estate sales and marketing. Its Seattle operations are led by Evan Kaseguma and PJ Santos.
About Mary’s Place
Mary’s Place believes that no one’s child should sleep outside. They provide safe and inclusive shelter and resources for women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness. Mary’s Place currently operates five crisis response family shelters providing refuge and community for 500 family members experiencing homelessness. The organization focuses on an innovative strategy of combining emergency shelter and resources for transition into housing to bring families out of homelessness.