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October 12, 2011

Homeless Demonstrate at Gates Foundation to Seek Aid

Dozens of activists and homeless people are staging a nightly "sleep-in" outside the Seattle offices of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, seeking a grant to re-open shelters shuttered due to a loss of federal aid, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.

Officials and clients of Seattle Housing and Resource Effort and Women's Housing, Equality, and Enhancement League, known as Share/Wheel, are seeking $30,000 to re-open, and to draw the world's largest philanthropy's attention to homelessness in its hometown.

"We understand, they want to fund something that sounds prettier," said Monty Smith, a member of Share/Wheel's board. "But having shelter is a human right."

The group has also appealed to Warren Buffett, who has donated much of his fortune to the Gates fund, and to the United Way of King County, in Seattle.

Share/Wheel closed 15 shelters Monday after the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant that paid for its operations ran out, public radio station NWCN says.