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Homelessness is pervasive. Here's how investors and property owners can help

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A proven way for communities to effectively reduce homeless populations is to provide secure, safe, and comfortable long-term housing in residential neighborhoods.

Employing this housing-first philosophy through its nine properties, Carson City’s Spirit of Hope does just that. Spirit of Hope provides housing for homeless people if they are willing to be clean and live a better life.

A Spirit of Hope house may be in your neighborhood. I know there is one in mine. They live quietly, take good care of the property, and are a joyful part of our neighborhood.

Spirit of Hope is seeking investors interested in using existing real estate assets for charitable purposes.

If you own a property, you might be wondering what your gifting and estate planning options are. Just what options do you have to help plan your gifting or estate for a charity like Spirit of Hope?

— The first option is a charitable remainder trust (or CRT). With this type of trust, you never give the charity title to the trust property. You merely allow the charity to receive some of the trust income (and principal, if necessary) for a period of time before giving title to a non-charitable beneficiary, such as a family member.

This works well for a family house that you transformed into a rental propriety—and you would be interested in donating the rental income to a charity. An example is a home your child is living in and renting from you. You might not feel the rent is that important for your income/wealth and would like to donate it to a charity. After you pass you want the property to go to your child to keep it in the family. The property title would still transfer to the intended beneficiary, such as a son or daughter, at the appropriate time.

— Another option is a charitable lead trust (or CLT). Properties under a CLT are gifts to a charity because the charity is given title to the property when the income producing period ends. In this scenario Spirit of Hope, for example, is designated as the renter. You, as the landlord, collect rent from the charity as income. At the appropriate time as stipulated in the CLT, the charity gets title to and control of the property. The property will not be part of your estate and your loved ones will not have to worry about estate taxes for these properties.

If the options presented in this article are of interest to you, please feel free to reach out to me, Rob Webster, AWMA (owner of Defining Your Wealth Financial Group, LLC) at 775.525.1040 or rob.webster@definingyourwealth.com.

Spirit of Hope is actively seeking additional properties to further its mission to effectively reduce homelessness in Carson City. If you are in a position to help them, please call Ellen Jackson at 775.461.3331 or email her at jjnellen2@yahoo.com.

For more information about Spirit of Hope, please follow this link here.

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