Rick Steves made millions from his European tour guides. But he was not the one who enjoyed living big, when so many people lived in poverty. So they bought an entire apartment complex to help homeless women and children. He donated it to the CVJM, where it now houses 24 people. It has become a safe place for women, particularly single mothers, where they can get advice on how to get back on their feet.
Rick Steves’s Apartment Complex for the Homeless
Rick Steves bought the apartment complex in 2005 and worked hard to clean it up to make it suitable for low-income families. They partnered with the YWCA and Rotary Club of Edmonds to refurbish affordable housing and homes for neighbors in need with additional assistance from the Gates Foundation and local government. Twenty years ago, he came up with a concept: “I can put my savings in homes, not in bank” he wrote on his blog.
Trinity Place was almost full between 2005 and 2016. Eventually the mothers were able to move in with their children. In 2017, Steve handed over the complex to the CVJM. His plan was to inspire other people to do the acts like this. “In collaboration with CVJM and Rotary Club Edmonds, we are publishing this creative way to create a happy retirement nest in the hope that others will be inspired and do something for their community to work in a powerful way,” he wrote.
Trinity Place allows homeless women to reunite with children placed in foster care. The women at Trinity Place are separated from their children because they are in unhappy situations such as drug addiction. They are struggling to get their lives back on track.
Donating to Stop Climate Change
This is not the only charity project Rick Steves has been involved in. During his extensive travels, he has experienced the effects of climate change, from the drought in Ethiopia to the melting of snow in the Swiss Alps. He donate $1 million a year to organizations that fight climate change.
The company gets 30,000 customers a year, which equates to $90,000 a round. He donates 30% to his clients because, according to experts, it reduces the environmental impact of travelers. The program is called Climate Smart Commitment. When we travel for business, we contribute to the destruction of our environment. “It’s not a problem if we can afford it”, Steves said.
How to Be Happier
The homeless housing complex began in 2005 and continues to help people today. The money will go to projects concerning the International Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and world hunger and bread for the world.
Steves hopes other multimillionaires will follow his example and help those who are less fortunate than they are. It is heartwarming to know that there are good people in the world who want to alleviate the suffering of others. He decided to make the investment to help people in the community. That is not the mark of a thoughtful man. “As I said, you consume more, you’re happier”, he said in a video interview.
“The gap between rich and poor in our country is widening”, he wrote in his blog post. Wealth has meaning and joy, but helping others does not mean wanting to consume more. Improving people’s lives is priceless.
“I believe that the needs, as affordable housing, will only increase if budget cuts are implemented. Organizations such as the CVJM need to close this gap. If our country wants to be great again, we must engage in creative thinking that connects with our hearts.