December 18, 2008 11:26 PM by Britteny Elrick
Gregory Haerr, tonight’s Secret Millionaire, is a real estate investor, entrepreneur, and CEO of Century Software. Hewillbe leavinghis home in Salt Lake Cityto embark on a journeyto theslums of Las Vegas. For one week, he will live in poverty, while searching for individuals to whom he willgive at least$100,000 of his own money.
Gregory Haerr gives us a tour of his 7,500 sq foot home and talks about his upbringing. He got his start by writing a software program from his parents’ garage. He is an entrepreneur, real estate investor, and CEO of Century Software. Hewill be giving up all of his possessions to go undercover as a secret millionaire for one week in Las Vegas and is given $47. He travels via bus and is dropped off in the slums. The first place he inquires to stay at is too expensive so he talks to the manager. The manager tells him he will have to work for his room and if he gets out of line he will throw him out. He also warns Gregory Haerr that he is in one of the worst areas of Las Vegas and refers to it as “purgatory.”
Once the Secret Millionairegets inside his room, he is disgusted by the bugs. In the morning, he goes to start his job. He is instructed to empty all the garbages on the property, which becomes a bigger project than expected. Much like the previous secret millionaires Greg and Cole Ruzicka, Greg is not one for manual labor. Day three comes, and Gregory Haerr realizes he has been too preoccupied with surviving and hasn’t focused on meeting people. He found a flyer Valley View Home and goes inside to meet Ylanda. She runs the program out of her home and provides food and other aid to needy families. Ylanda tells him about her life and how she had a baby at sixteen and then started selling drugs. She says it helps her to relate to the people she helps.
The next day he checks out Street Teens, located in his neighborhood. He meets Lisa, and she gives him a tour of the place. They help shelter and clothe kids who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons. He strikes up some conversations with various homeless teens. Lisa tells him their building has sold and they have to find another location or close down. Gregory Haerr leaves for awhile and starts crying. He calls his brother Paul, a pro surfer, to come and visit.
That night they drive to a skateboard park. They meet a guy named “wheels” who skateboards in his wheelchair. Wheels tells them that he has never been able to walk. He says that he tries to help other kids who are paralyzed and wants to start his own wheelchair company someday.
The Secret Millionaireis torn when it comes to deciding who he will givehis money to. First, goes back to the Valley View home and speaks with Ylanda. He gives her a gift of $30k to help with her outreach. Then he goes back to see Wheels at the skateboard park and gives him a gift of $20k. Lastly, he goes back to see Lisa at Street Teens. He presents her with a check for 100k.
Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/FOX