Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gives $2bn to help the homeless

Jeff Bezos of Amazon speaks at the Bush Centers Forum on Leadership in Dallas

Jeff Bezos of Amazon speaks at the Bush Centers Forum on Leadership in Dallas

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seems to be Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant's arch-nemesis, so it only makes sense that she would have something to say about the entrepreneur's $2 billion charitable fund toward homelessness and education.

The fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing work to "move the needle" in providing hunger and shelter support to young families.

The Day 1 Academics Fund plans to launch and operate a network of high-quality, free Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities.

Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post and space exploration company Blue Origin, became the world's wealthiest person this year, with an estimated net worth of $164 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon's main headquarters building in Seattle is also called Day 1. It previously helped the nonprofit temporarily house 200 homeless people.

Bezos made the announcement Thursday in a tweet and a post on his Instagram account. In 2012, he donated $2.5 million to uphold Washington state's same-sex marriage law.

Despite the huge amount of money being given, it is far less than the philanthropy of other billionaires such as Microsoft's Bill Gates, who has donated tens of billions to his foundation, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who has pledged to donate 99% of his shares in the social media giant to an organization focused on public good. The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the world's largest private nonprofit foundation has an endowment worth over $40 billion U.S. and has long supported homelessness services for families in the city.

Insanely rich human being Jeff Bezos announced today his intention to do something he rarely ever does: philanthropy.

But then he changed his tune. In the summer of 2017, Bezos tweeted a request from the masses for philanthropic ideas "at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact". He said he was mulling a philanthropic strategy that is "the opposite of how I mostly spend my time".