HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’: Construction Begins on Trebek Center Homeless Shelter After Show Makes Major Donation

‘Jeopardy!’: Construction Begins on Trebek Center Homeless Shelter After Show Makes Major Donation

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Jeopardy! shared positive news Wednesday, announcing that construction has started on the new Trebek Homeless Center.

Jeopardy! donated $250,000 to the center, which is named for legendary host Alex Trebek, back in early June. Trebek, before he died in November, 2020, personally gave $500,000 to the cause.

The Jeopardy! Instagram account posted a photo on Instagram, Wednesday, to share the news. The caption:

“With the $250K donation from Jeopardy!, Hope of the Valley Trebek Center began construction on Aug. 16th, scheduled for completion early 2022. The site will have 107 bedrooms and a full array of social services to assist those living at the center.”

Back when the donation was first announced, Trebek’s wife, Jean, said:

“It’s so wonderful that Jeopardy! is supporting Hope of the Valley’s The Trebek Center in Northridge, CA. The show’s generosity continues to reflect Alex’s desire to assist underrepresented communities.”

Jeopardy! Donation Matched Prize Money Won By Tournament of Champions Victor

The donation was part of the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions in May. The show matched the grand prize won by tournament victor, Sam Kavanaugh. He’s a substitute teacher from Minnesota.

Jeopardy! has endured a tumultuous few weeks as the show tried to replace Trebek.

The latest Jeopardy! jolt came Tuesday, when Sony officials announced they fired Mike Richards, the executive producer for the quiz show and Wheel of Fortune.

Mike Richards Goes From Permanent Host to Unemployed

On August 11, Sony elevated Richards to Trebek’s permanent replacement, while naming actress Mayim Bialik as host of Jeopardy! primetime specials. Richards filmed the first five shows of the new season. But word had gotten out that Richards was a defendant in sexual discrimination lawsuits when he worked at The Price of Right. Plus, he made inflammatory comments while hosting a podcast in 2014. The blowback was intense. Richards apologized and stepped down from his hosting duties, Aug. 20. The New York Times reported that show staffers confronted Richards the day before, saying his past comments could tarnish the show’s reputation.

Suzanne Prete, who is in charge of business and strategy at Jeopardy! emailed staffers Tuesday to announce the Richards news. She said: “We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened.”

Michael Davies, who developed the American version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, will be the quiz show’s interim producer.

A source told the Times that the Richards decision was made last weekend following another emotional staff meeting. The Richards-hosted shows are set to run starting Sept. 13 as Jeopardy! starts its 38th season. Richards filmed all five shows in one day.

Bialik now is guest hosting as Jeopardy! restarts its search for a permanent host.