About 150 people slept on the sidewalk outside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Monday night. (97.3 KIRO FM/Chris Sullivan)

Homeless target Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Protesters targeted the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Monday night, asking that it give more money to end homelessness in Puget Sound.

About 150 people slept on the sidewalk in the driving rain outside the foundation to highlight recent government funding cuts that have forced the closure of several shelters. Most spent the night wrapped like mummies in plastic tarps.

Birdie has been homeless for four months. She says it's great that the Gates Foundation donates money to disasters and relief efforts around the world, but it should focus more at home.

"There's people right here locally literally right in their face that they won't help," she said.

The protest was sponsored by Share/Wheel. Justin Embry, with Share/Wheel, says it won't take a lot to keep its shelters open.

"It's about $50,000 to put us back indoors," he said. "You know it's going to take a lot more than that obviously to keep us going. That's what we're hoping for."

The Gates Foundation released a statement saying it is very concerned about the homeless problem. It says the Foundation has donated more than $100 million to homeless programs around Puget Sound.

Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio Reporter
Chris loves the rush of covering breaking news and works hard to try to make sense of it all while telling stories about real people in extraordinary circumstances.
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