Travel, Budget Beds, and the Homeless
December 26, 2017 11:16 PM   Subscribe

Back in January, Rick Steves donated the Trinity Place transitional housing complex in Edmonds, WA, which he had owned and operated in partnership with the Rotary and the YWCA since 2005, to the YWCA. On his blog, Steves discusses the history of the project—and his reasons for donating it now—at some length. (Rick Steves previously)
posted by Johnny Wallflower (30 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
This makes me happy.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:20 PM on December 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

In short, an enlightened society brightens its world in unison through smart government and doesn’t need a thousand points of light.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:22 PM on December 26, 2017 [14 favorites]

Steves: “With the election of our president in 2016 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.”

The Orange Monster is bringing us together...
posted by LeLiLo at 11:48 PM on December 26, 2017

A true hero, Making America Great Again! Thank you for sharing.
posted by stillmoving at 12:02 AM on December 27, 2017

Hey Trump: This is how you do "Steves", you purulent orange toddler.
posted by maxwelton at 1:00 AM on December 27, 2017 [7 favorites]

My first trip to Europe was with his "Through the Back Door" informing and inspiring me. Noticed he had a TV show maybe 20 years ago, heard about the tour groups, etc., and thought to myself "Hah, just a sellout, looks like he is making a lot of money on this".

I am so pleasantly surprised to hear all of this background. Hooray for Rick Steves!
posted by Meatbomb at 1:07 AM on December 27, 2017


Just wow.

That made me feel much better than I expected walking in.

It's awfully nice to know my native cynicism is not always needed.
posted by Samizdata at 2:39 AM on December 27, 2017 [7 favorites]

That's amazing. Such a simple idea... I guess you have to start with enough capital that you don't need compound earnings for it really to serve as a retirement plan (vs investing) but ... it's just so brilliant. And kind.

Hats off to you, Rick.
posted by sldownard at 3:05 AM on December 27, 2017

(I really hope he notices the referrer headers and shows up here to see what we think. I WANT him to get the positive strokes from people with no vested interest.)
posted by Samizdata at 3:32 AM on December 27, 2017

Rick Steves is an inspiration to me as an entrepreneur.* He specifically started his travel business because he thinks US folks need to travel internationally more and widen our perspectives. If you find pre-2000 editions of his guidebooks you'll find an appendix about the need for a Jubilee Year to forgive the debts of developing countries.

Thanks for linking to this. I find it so charming that he didn't just write up a "here's why I did this" but provides the "how I did this" as a guide to other well-off people! It's his habit to write up guides to cool stuff he does, I assume.

* except I shall not be a jerk on the phone.
posted by brainwane at 4:30 AM on December 27, 2017 [8 favorites]

Well I cried. Damnit Rick Steves, you’re golden.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:57 AM on December 27, 2017

And it's my hope that love and compassion can trump values of crass commercialism, greed, and "winners" beating "losers."

I see what you did there, Rick.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:38 AM on December 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Gives me hope for the human race.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:51 AM on December 27, 2017

Reading this was a good way to start the day.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:57 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wow. What a great story.

As a man (in a male-­dominated world), I take partial responsibility for the plight of women abandoned by their husbands to raise children alone.

Dude is enlightened AF.
posted by pjsky at 7:32 AM on December 27, 2017 [10 favorites]

Steve was already my man of the year for travelling to Illinois and speaking to legislators about repealing marijuana prohibition in the state.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:56 AM on December 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I cried a little bit. Good people.
posted by k8t at 8:06 AM on December 27, 2017

I always think of Rick Steves as a sort of Mister Rogers for adults. He could care less about being cool, is genuinely eager about things and not afraid to be corny.
posted by soelo at 8:44 AM on December 27, 2017 [7 favorites]

I'm so with all of y'all who site Steves as a thoughtful and hilarious travel expert. In my case he helped encourage my 19-year old self into taking a life-changing trip to Western Europe many, many years ago. I already knew he was the best but clearly he has upped his game. Buy his books. Note though, that so many do it can be tough to book a place he recommends because everyone, rightfully, wants to stay there.
posted by pipoquinha at 8:47 AM on December 27, 2017

Good for him. When I get very frustrated with evangelicals, it's good to be reminded that there are Christians out there not merely using God as an excuse for tribalistic barbarism.
posted by praemunire at 8:58 AM on December 27, 2017 [7 favorites]

God Bless Rick Steves.
posted by notsnot at 9:33 AM on December 27, 2017

* except I shall not be a jerk on the phone

I used to work for John Muir Publications in Santa Fe (previously) when they were carrying Rick’s books. I was the bottom link on the employee chain so therefore, I got to answer the phone when others weren’t answering. I had lots of authors who weren’t very nice but Rick was always polite and engaging (even asking about the weather or what was happening in town). I suppose anyone can get mad and be a jerk on the phone but that was never my experience.
posted by jabo at 9:40 AM on December 27, 2017 [7 favorites]

He continues to surprise me.
posted by bongo_x at 10:31 AM on December 27, 2017

He is not just pro-marijuana, he is on the board of directors of NORML.
posted by mumblelard at 10:33 AM on December 27, 2017

I have a friend who has worked for Rick Steves for nearly 20 years and she has nothing, nothing, nothing but good to say of the man.
posted by bz at 12:25 PM on December 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

bz, that makes me happy to hear. It's a little 2017, a little bit my natural cynicism, but I am so suspicious of public enlightenment that's really just performative wokeness. I got to the Why YWCA? section and started mumbling to myself, please don't turn out to be an ass please don't turn out to be an ass please don't turn out to be an ass...
posted by yeahlikethat at 12:42 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

This was a very kind and generous thing to do.

But I have trouble seeing how it would scale. We need to figure out how to balance the needs and wants of a city's owners, tenants, and would-be residents, in order to create the regulatory space to build enough housing.
posted by Baeria at 2:04 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

a city's owners, tenants, and would-be residents

...a homeless person is a resident.
posted by praemunire at 7:59 PM on December 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Rick Steves is such a nice guy (as confirmed by a few friends that met him) that I always assumed he was Canadian. Then I read this:

"The joy and satisfaction I get from helping house desperate mothers and kids, and cushioning them from the austerity that the Trump administration could bring to this community far outstrips any monetary return I might have gained from holding onto it."

Wait, where's he from?
posted by chillmost at 4:17 AM on December 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Washington State, I think.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:42 PM on December 28, 2017

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