Acts of Kindness
Man renovates $4M apartment then donates it so struggling mothers can have a place to live
Britanie Leclair
05.02.22

Some people measure success as a dollar amount. Others measure it through the number of lives they’ve touched for the better.

Rick Steves is a travel writer, author, and television presenter well known for his off-the-beaten-track travel guides for Europe and his budget itinerary plans.

Since 2000, he hosted “Rick Steves’ Europe” and made the continent accessible for almost every type of traveler.

But Steves’s passion did not only involve hopping on a plane and discovering new ways to appreciate a destination.

He’s a staunch activist and has looked for ways to combat the most glaring manifestations of the wealth gap – homelessness.

He admitted on his website that in some of his tours, he would book clients into terrible rooms just so they would better appreciate having a warm cozy home back from where they came from. He’d also intentionally book hotel reservations late in the afternoon so that his tour group would experience the anxiety of not knowing if they’d sleep with a roof over their heads.

YouTube Screenshot - KING 5
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KING 5

The experiment was short-lived though.

Especially when he realized that he can teach this kind of empathy in a more mature, efficient, and effective way.

Back in the United States, Steves devised a way to make a more tangible action to his advocacy.

With the profits he made working, he found himself owning a 24-unit apartment complex.

YouTube Screenshot - KING 5
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KING 5

Edmonds, Washington, experienced his project firsthand with a property valued at $4 million.

The idea was to buy cheap apartments to house struggling neighbors in his community. And instead of collecting rent, his “income” would come from the joy of helping people who are struggling to get back on their feet.

YouTube Screenshot - KING 5
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KING 5

Together with the YWCA and the Rotary Club of Edmonds, he renovated the complex that was previously described as a “haunted house” and renovated it into quality apartments.

YouTube Screenshot - KING 5
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KING 5

They called it Trinity Place.

Their main recipients were mothers who are recovering from drug addiction. These apartments will give them the space and energy to become who they once were – mothers with a lot of love to give.

It might be a housing project for others but for those who worked with Steves, it’s an avenue to reunite and rebuild families.

It’s a lifeline for mothers and children alike to have a chance at a better life.

“Moms have big hearts.” Steves said in an interview with King 5.

“Because love dominates their outlook. And they have kids on their laps. There’s got to be a way to support them.”

Steves shared in his blog that his motivations come from different aspects of his life.

YouTube Screenshot - KING 5
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YouTube Screenshot - KING 5

As a businessman, he felt that companies should make a real commitment to the community they’re serving.

It doesn’t need to be grand. It just needs to be sustainable, concrete, and effective.

YouTube Screenshot - KING 5
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KING 5

Steeves had had enough of people saying there’s not enough money to go around.

He believes that we just need to set better priorities, especially in terms of projects that will look after everyone’s needs.

In just one year, Steves had helped 61 families.

He intended for the complex to be given to the YWCA after his passing but decided to hand it over earlier.

YouTube Screenshot - KING 5
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KING 5

Steves, staying true to his advocacy, gave the entire property to the YWCA. He hopes that this gesture can inspire people to help in their own way, and create a community that looks after one another.

Watch how this travel guru changed the lives of struggling moms and gave them a second chance at motherhood in the video below!

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By Britanie Leclair
hi@sbly.com
Britanie Leclair is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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