St. Louis nonprofit receives exclusive Jeff Bezos grant

Gateway180 to receive $1.25 million
gateway 180
gateway 180
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 10:23 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - A St. Louis nonprofit is the recipient of a million-dollar grant aimed at combatting homelessness.

Gateway180, an emergency shelter and housing assistance provider in St. Louis and the largest family shelter in the state of Missouri, announced that it has received a $1.25 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund—the largest gift in the organization’s history.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos launched the fund in 2018. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations that are helping families move from unsheltered homelessness and shelters to permanent housing with the services they require to achieve stability.

“Our goal at Gateway180 has always been to provide a safe and nurturing environment where vulnerable families can access the comprehensive support they need to build a better life,” said Kathy Connors, executive director of Gateway180. “This generous grant will allow us to do just that, providing greater flexibility to understand the needs of our families and, in response, offer wraparound support tailored to their specific challenges to help them work toward their long-term goals of housing stability.

“This one-time grant will help Gateway180 in its tireless work to support families as they reel from skyrocketing rent costs, limited services and insufficient incomes. Gateway180 plans to use the grant funds to continue to innovate in how it approaches comprehensive solutions for families, including partnering with and incentivizing motels and landlords to provide stable housing and working one-on-one with families to ensure they have the support they need to succeed—from down payments and financial assistance to addiction treatment and childcare.”

Gateway180 was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by a group of national advisors who are leading advocates and experts on homelessness and service provision. National advisors brought expertise on housing justice, advancing racial equity and helping programs employ resources effectively to assist families out of homelessness.

Over the past five years, the Day 1 Families Fund has provided 170 grants totaling more than $520 million.