Tony Robbins To The Rescue, Again, In Burlingame Woman’s Crisis

By Kevin Fagan
San Francisco Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Tony Robbins, the multimillionaire self-improvement guru is really flexing his philanthropic muscles these days.  From helping two nuns buy a new soup kitchen to personally paying the rent of an elderly woman who faced eviction, Robbins seems to be everywhere doing good deeds. Robbins says he’s just doing what he does all the time through his foundation and other philanthropic work, feeding and clothing the needy internationally.

San Francisco Chronicle

After enduring the death of her 97-year-old roommate and friend a month ago in Burlingame and agonizing about where she might live next, 85-year-old Georgia Rothrock can now breathe easier — thanks to a name becoming familiar in Bay Area philanthropy, Tony Robbins.

Robbins, the multimillionaire self-improvement guru and business coach who bailed a San Francisco soup kitchen run by a pair of nuns out of trouble last month — and this past week sealed a deal to buy them a house — has agreed to help pay Rothrock’s rent at a senior citizens complex for the next 10 years.

Rescue in Burlingame
Rothrock’s life was thrown into limbo when roommate Marie Hatch died before a legal fight could be resolved over whether Hatch had been promised what she said was lifetime tenancy at the home she rented for 66 years in Burlingame. The landlord had given Hatch an eviction notice, and because Rothrock was subletting a room in the place, she was also ordered to leave by the end of April.

Rothrock had been living with her friend for 32 years, and a lawyer was fighting the eviction order. But now that’s moot.

On Friday, she was packing up at her tidy, wood-shingled cottage to move to her new home in Belmont by May. Robbins will pay a total of about $50,000, spread over 10 years of monthly payments, to fill in the money she needs beyond her Social Security check to live at the senior complex.

“I cannot believe Mr. Robbins has helped me like this,” she said. “I asked him, Why do you want to do this for me? And he said something about how something in his background has pushed him to help whenever he can. I don’t know what I would do if he hadn’t helped.”

Robbins said he’s just doing what he does all the time through his foundation and other philanthropic work, feeding and clothing the needy internationally. It’s like he tells the CEOs and celebrities he counsels, and what he says in his seminars: Help those in need, help people help themselves, and you’re helping everyone.

“This is my goal. I haven’t forgotten what it was like to be poor,” said Robbins, who has homes in Florida as well as in Palm Springs — where this month he also donated $24,000, spread over two years, to help house a 100-year-old woman being evicted in the area. “I just want to help. … Georgia is a very sweet woman.”

He plans to urge people to help him feed 200 million people in the United States with the charity Feeding America this year when he comes to San Francisco, and said he will match local donations toward that aim.

End to uncertainty
Rothrock’s attorney, Paula Canny, said she was delighted to have an end to the uncertainty for her client, who retired decades ago from a career in food technology.

“Tony Robbins is saving this woman’s life,” she said. “I don’t know why he’s one of the nicest guys in the world, but if I did know, then everybody else should try to be like him.”

Michael Liberty, the attorney for landlord David Kantz, said he had no comment on the latest development.

The law firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy is suing Kantz on behalf of the late Hatch and her son, contending breach of contract and elder abuse for evicting her in spite of promises Hatch said were made to her by three generations of women who owned the house, including Kantz’s late wife, that she could stay there for life.

Helping nuns in S.F.
Robbins has also been busy with the two nuns of the Fraternite Notre Dame Mary of Nazareth Soup Kitchen in San Francisco.

Last month he funded a deal to buy them a new soup kitchen, and this past week he put up about $675,000 with a friend to buy them a house in the Bayview neighborhood. The nuns had been under threat of eviction, but he brokered an agreement for them to stay for a year while they looked for new digs.

“I never thought I’d get this involved with the nuns, but it’s been a wonderful experience,” he said. “They don’t have a bad bone in their bodies.”

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