Starbucks Joins Pearl Jam to Raise Funds for Unsheltered Families in King County

Starbucks and Pearl Jam have also produced a series of short films to shine a spotlight on the crisis and support working solutions

As Pearl Jam gets ready for their much-awaited Home Shows next month, Starbucks is inviting customers to donate to the band’s Home Fund, which will support a range of organisations in King County, Washington working to move people to stable housing and keep people from becoming unsheltered in the first place.

With this donation, The Starbucks Foundation’s support over the last two years alone for unsheltered families in King County will total more than US$3 million/£2.3 million.

“Starbucks has been an important partner in the Home Shows project, leading the charge in helping to shelter families. I applaud the steps they have taken in this area and I look forward to seeing what they do next. Seattle’s business community has a huge role to play in addressing our homelessness crisis – we all do,” said Pearl Jam guitarist, Stone Gossard.

“These historic shows are a timely and urgent opportunity for us to keep making progress to bring families with young children inside now, before the rain and cold return,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks President and CEO.

The brand also partnered with Pearl Jam to produce a series of short films capturing the crisis of homelessness in the region – and the individuals and organisations working to bring real change to the community. These videos are available on Pearl Jam’s The Home Shows website, YouTube page, and on the Starbucks Newsroom.

The brand remains active in the fight to bring families and children inside, with many still waiting months on average for emergency shelter as they sleep on the streets, in cars and parks across the community. The company continues to advocate for an immediate expansion of critical, short-term emergency shelter for families and has partnered with Mary’s Place to support the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign for two years.

Most recently, the campaign exceeded its initial goal of US$1.5 million/£1.14 million by raising US$2.2 million/£1.7 million. The brand and other local businesses and foundations donated US$4 million/£3.05 million the year before to fund the opening of three new shelters in White Center, Shoreline and Northshore that have provided services for over 500 families. The funds raised during the December 2017 campaign are currently supporting continued operating costs to bring an additional 800 family members to shelters and move more than 300 families into permanent housing.

Earlier this year, the brand’s partners (employees) from the community joined the United Way of King County, Mary’s Place, Wellspring and other local providers to host the first Family Resource Exchange event to bring critical resources and support to more than 100 families and children.

The exchange meets families where they are in their community to offer services like housing resources, employment opportunities, meals, legal and financial services, childcare and other public benefits. A second Family Resource Exchange will take place on 16 August, at Olympic Hills Elementary School in Seattle.

In June, the company also brought together more than 50 business leaders, government officials, service providers and families at its headquarters in Seattle for a summit to begin laying out a plan to better reach unsheltered families and provide urgent support.

Starbucks was a four-time Global winner of the World Branding Awards in the Retailer-Coffee category.