Travel guru Rick Steves gives away $4 million apartment complex for housing homeless women and children

SEATTLE — Travel book writer and TV show host Rick Steves has given a $4 million apartment complex in Lynnwood, Wash., to the YWCA for housing homeless women and their families.

“One of my pet social causes has long been affordable housing,” Steves wrote on his travel blog, posted April 13. “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. I would retain my capital, my equity would grow as the apartment complex appreciated, and I would suffer none of the headaches that I would have if I had rented out the units as a landlord. Rather than collecting rent, my ‘income’ would be the joy of housing otherwise desperate people.”

Steves, whose company is based in Edmonds, Wash., said he eventually came to own a 24-apartment complex in Lynnwood that he provided it to the YWCA for housing single moms who were recovering-drug addicts and getting custody of their children back. It is called Trinity Place.

“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,” he wrote.

But then he decided to take it a step further.

“With the election of our president and the rise of a new, greed-is-good ethic in our government, I want to be more constructive than just complaining about how our society is once again embracing ‘trickle-down’ ethics, and our remarkable ability to ignore the need in our communities even as so much wealth is accumulated within the top one percent of our populace,” Steves wrote.

Speedy the goat saves a family from a fire


POINSETT COUNTY, Ark. — Don’t let the little goat fool you. Speedy, the loud family pet, is now being hailed a hero.

“I was in the living room sleeping,” said Abigail Bruce.

The 10-year-old said her sleep was interrupted Saturday night by Speedy.

Speedy was jumping on her legs and then her chest. He wasn’t giving up until his message got across.

“I was thinking what’s happening? And all I seen was smoke,” she said.

Abigail jumped off the couch and barged into her parent’s room.

“I woke up to Abigail running into the room saying it was smokey and she could barely breathe,” said her father Nick Bruce.

He soon realized the garage was engulfed in flames.

“The fire was already starting to come through the windows,” he said.

The family jumped out the bedroom window and onto the front lawn unscathed.

The Weiner fire department got to their home on North Prairie minutes later. They were able to get the flames out, but unfortunately, the smoke and soot damaged everything inside.

The family said it could have been worse if it weren’t for Speedy.

“He knew what to do and everything,” said Abigail.

See, Speedy joined the family two days before their home caught fire. The goat was an early birthday gift for Abigail and lived with the family inside their home.

“I didn’t approve of him at first but he’ll be there from now on,” said Nick Bruce.

Speedy isn’t your normal pet, but Abigail knew that all along.

“I think he was special before we got him,” she said.

Officials told WREG the cause of the fire was electrical.

The Weiner Fire Department and the Jonesboro Fire Department set up a fund to help the family.

If you would like to help, call the Jonesboro Fire Department at (870) 932-2428.