One man felt that he could no longer ignore the homeless woman who had been living in his street and instead built her a proper home.
A 60-year-old woman named Smokie has been sleeping in the street a few doors down from Elvis Summers in his Los Angeles neighborhood.
Most mornings, she would stop by Elvis’ apartment and ask if he had any recyclables for her. Over time, the two struck up a friendship which would change Smokie’s life. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Elvis Summers built a tiny house for a homeless neighbor named Smokie.
One day, Elvis read a news article about a man in Oakland who makes tiny houses out of discarded material. It inspired him to put off paying a few of his bills so he could scrape enough money to buy the lumber and hardware needed to make Smokie a brand new home.
It took Elvis five days to build it, and now, for the first time in ten years, Smokie has her very own home. Elvis told Good News Network:
I had nowhere to really build it, so I just built it in the street outside of my apartment. The local LAPD cops have been super cool, and have told me they support itΓÇôas long as we move it to a different spot every 72 hours.
The materials he used to build Smokie’s home, including two locks for the front door and wheels for moving it around, cost Elvis about $500.
2. It took Elvis five days to build it, and now, for the first time in ten years, Smokie has her very own home.
3. The materials he used to build Smokie’s home, including two locks for the front door and wheels for moving it around, cost Elvis about $500.
People who passed by while Elvis was constructing Smokie’s home even asked how much he was going to charge for rent, but making a profit never crossed his mind. He said:
I’ve met so many homeless people, good people. Since I built Smokie’s, I’ve had several people ask me to make them a tiny home and it’s turned into much more than just the one house I wanted to build.
And that inspired Elvis to launch “Mythpla” (My Tiny House Project LA) with a crowdfunding campaign for everyone who wants to help, on GoFundMe. He said:
I’d like to offer purpose to these people in need and hire them to build the houses with me. I’ve even set an appointment with LA’s Mayor Eric Garcetti to try and get his help.
The city owns or controls many properties which are just sitting collecting dust and could be used, even temporarily, to help save lives.
4. Elvis made this nifty time-lapse video showing how he did it.
Elvis has also given Smokie a cell phone to keep in touch with her family and helps her keep it charged. He said:
Now if I could just get her to stop using the radio on the phone so much, it wouldn’t always be dead and need charging so often.
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