LA unveiled a new homeless shelter that honors the late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek on Thursday (May 12). Thanks to a generous donation made by the family, the facility bears the name “The Trebek Center.”
Trebek’s widow, Jean Trebek, was on site for the ribbon-cutting at the former Northridge roller rink Skateland, Los Angeles Daily News reported.
“We all know that homelessness is complicated,” she said to the crowd. “There is no single pathway to the streets. There’s no single intervention that ends homelessness. But there is a single remedy, and it’s called love. Supporting another is loving another and the transformational power of support will surely be known at this site.”
The Trebek Center will be a transitional residence for people who are looking for a permanent home. Inside, the facility boasts 107 beds and a library. And people will also have access to hot meals, showers, mental health services, case management, substance abuse treatment, employment counseling, and permanent housing placement services.
According to TMZ, the Alex Trebek family donated $500,000 to a shelter called The Hope Center before Trebek’s passing. And in 2021, the new location was short on funds. So with the family’s permission, the organization reallocated the money to the new center.
The first resident will move into the building next week. And everyone who earns a spot will be free to stay as long as they need.
The New Alex Trebek Shelter Takes Over Former LA Skating Rink
Ken Craft, the founder of Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, which runs The Alek Trebek Center, is excited about the chance to help his community.
“This center will be a life-transformation center, a chance for people to get a second chance in life to get renewed dreams, their vision ignited. And to start over,” he said.
Furthermore, the city is proud to see the iconic skating rink repurposed into something that is helping to combat “what is happening” on the LA streets.
The Skateland rink was once a local jewel. But thanks to forced COVID shutdowns in March of 2020, the company went out of business.
“Losing something that was so incredibly valuable to us, with so many incredible memories, was not an easy pill for people to swallow,” City Council member John Lee said.
Alex Trebek died on November 8th, 2020, after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old. Since his passing, his wife and three children have been keeping his legacy alive through charitable works such as The Trebek Center. But focusing on the illness that took his life has been their main priority.
“It’s a little bittersweet because this was the disease that took Alex’s human life,” Jean told PEOPLE while participating in the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Purple Stride Walk & Run earlier this month. “But, I also know what it pulled from him. His courage, his strength, and that was what Alex, I know, wants to be remembered for.”