Travel guru Rick Steves has just decided to offer his entire apartment complex to families who are struggling to make ends meet.
Originally, the building had been Steves’ “retirement nest egg” since he bought it in 2005. Since then, he had used his apartment complex to offer a place to stay to families who would otherwise go homeless. “Twenty years ago, I devised a scheme where I could put my retirement savings not into a bank to get interest, but into cheap apartments to house struggling neighbors,” he explained.
Moreover, Steves didn’t believe in making money from his property. Instead, he found happiness in being able to help people in need. “Rather than collecting rent, my “income” would be the joy of housing otherwise desperate people,” he wrote in his blog.
Steves’ apartment complex has been helping recovering addict moms get a fresh start.
Steves had long been providing his apartment complex to the YWCA. His building had 24 apartment units. It had served to house single moms who are recovering drug addicts and about to regain custody of their children. “Imagine the joy of knowing that I could provide a simple two-bedroom apartment for a mom and her kids as she fought to get her life back on track…times 24,” Steves remarked.
Originally, Steves had allowed the YWCA to use his apartment complex building for 15 years. Under the original arrangement, Steves could take back control of his building after this time. “I enjoyed the security of knowing I had that equity if I needed it,” Steves said. However, Steves had always planned of donating the property entirely. “And I figured I’d likely be doing well enough that eventually I’d donate it entirely to the YWCA,” he added.
This year, Steves decided to do it. He finally gave his entire property to the organization. He believes it’s the greatest gift that he could give to the organization. “Now the YWCA can plan into the future knowing this facility is theirs,” Steves explained.
When Steves gave away his Lynnwood apartment complex, it had been worth $4 million. But to Steves, being able to touch lives is priceless.
— Rick Steves (@RickSteves) April 14, 2017
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