A millionaire who is offering up his two luxury mansions to four families devastated by recent Texas tornadoes has chosen the first deserving recipients to stay in one of his homes — a single mother and her quadriplegic daughter and service dog.
Tornadoes in the Dallas area killed at least 11 people and damaged about 800 homes in late December, according to U.S. weather data reported by Reuters. Ron Sturgeon, a commercial real estate executive in the area, posted on Facebook on December 30, offering up the first of his two homes, which can fit two families, he said. He later added a second home to the offer. The four chosen families would get to live in his houses for three months, rent-free, and also use his two cars, according to CBS DFW.
Millionaire Ron Sturgeon has offered two of his homes to victims of the December tornadoes. (Photo: Ron Sturgeon)
The homes, which are both currently empty and for sale, are 10,000 square feet and 7,500 square feet, according to NBC DFW.
“I was moved by all the pictures of the lost, misplaced dogs, and I had not seen the pictures of all the devastation because I was out of the country,” Sturgeon told NBC. “When I saw the news, I realized that I’m so blessed to have these two huge homes sitting vacant — one of them is completely furnished. And I wanted to do something.”
Sturgeon’s assistant, Jennifer Knittle, told CBS that they were overwhelmed with responses to the generous offer, and picking the first deserving family wasn’t easy. “We started doing background checks on the victims and checking their credit score. He wants someone with a credit score of 700 or higher,” Knittle said.
The homeowner eventually settled on a mother and her quadriplegic daughter who were already struggling when they lost their home and all their possessions in the severe weather. “The house that they were leasing was destroyed by the tornado,” Knittle said. “They’ve obviously been through a lot in their life already. The only thing they salvaged was possibly their entertainment center.”
The mother, daughter, and service dog moved into Sturgeon’s home on Friday and will stay for 90 days. The other three families who will share their living arrangements have not yet been chosen.