Category: Current Affairs
Published on Friday, 08 January 2016 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
A philanthropic businessman from Texas has opened up two of his opulent mansions to help house and rehabilitate the victims of the recent tornadoes that devastated the state. Ron Sturgeon, who is reportedly worth $75 million, reached out to affected families whose homes have been destroyed by the tornadoes and offered his mansions for rent at a meagre $1 per month.
The two mansions which are reportedly worth $3.5 million altogether, are currently unoccupied and up for sale. Sturgeon himself was holidaying in Jamaica when the tornadoes struck north Texas last week. When he returned, he decided to use his unoccupied mansions for the greater good.
The post has been shared over 10,000 times and thousands have commented suggesting their friends take up the offer. Looking at the overwhelming response, Sturgeon later posted the second home as well, mentioning that it was also large enough for two families.
When contacted by the media, Sturgeon said it was the obvious thing for him to do. “I got up Tuesday morning and I was looking at my Facebook, and I was just seeing all these posts about lost dogs and families that didn’t have a place to go,” he told NewsFix. “And I was just astounded at all the devastation and how all the homes were just completely destroyed.”
“I was just thinking about having those two big homes,” he added. “We’ve got them listed for sale, and it doesn’t make sense for them to be vacant when somebody could be using them that obviously would have a great need,” he added, to NewsFix. “Some people think I’m crazy, and why would I do that. But I have a thousand tenants, so I understand tenants and I understand rental properties. I’ve never been a victim of a tornado, but it’s pretty devastating looking at these pictures.”
One of the houses, worth $1.9million, has four bedrooms, a large garage, and a swimming pool. The other one, a five-bedroom home, is valued at $1.6million. Sturgeon is currently taking applications on a first-come first-served basis, from people who’ve lost their home in the storm. All he requires is that they pass a background check and have a decent credit score.
Ron Sturgeon with wife Linda Allen and his dogs
Sturgeon is a self-made man who made his millions in the auto salvage industry. He had a taste of homelessness when his father died. He started his own business after graduating high school in 1978, and eventually amassed a fortune worth $75million, and is ranked amongst the richest 1% of the American population. This isn’t the first time he's in the news for his eccentric acts. In 2014, he hired a social media expert for his pet dogs. He paid him $45 an hour to make regular online posts about his King Charles Cavaliers – Willy, Dixie, and Lance.