What’s going on in the Pacific Northwest?

This corner of the country has been seeing new activity around ending homelessness. In September, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced a $2 billion charitable fund that will support existing nonprofits that help homeless families as well as create a network of preschools in low-income communities. We’re still waiting for more details about the fund. We also saw Mercy Housing Northwest break ground on an affordable housing development in Seattle that’s being funded largely by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.

Wait, there’s more. Seattle-based Pearl Jam raised $10.8 million to fight homelessness through a set of recent hometown concerts and philanthropic donations. In October, the rock band announced that the money will be distributed to nearly 100 area organizations.

There was also compelling news coming out of Oregon’s Portland State University, which pledged $3 million to launch two new centers, one of which is the PSU Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative. It’ll be a multidisciplinary effort to confront the big issue of homelessness.

Approximately 550,000 people in the United States are homeless, including roughly 21,000 people in Washington state and 14,000 in Oregon. We know the solution is to build more affordable housing, but delivering those units is another story. There aren’t enough resources, and the issue still doesn’t carry enough leverage. Amazon and Allen’s company, Vulcan, were among firms that reportedly opposed a Seattle business tax that would have funded services and housing for the homeless. It would have been interesting to see what the tax on large employers could have achieved—another bold idea out of the Northwest—but hopefully more efforts will emerge.

Philanthropies, rock bands, and universities shouldn’t be expected to replace the role of government and the affordable housing sector in delivering homes, but they can be part of the solution. The recent unique and separate events taking place in the region are no coincidence. They’re confirmation that a growing number of people recognize a national crisis and are committed to ending homelessness.