A Los Angeles man built a tiny house for a homeless woman who’d previously been sleeping in the dirt down the street from his apartment.
Almost every day, 60-year-old Smokie visited Elvis Summers’ apartment to ask if he had any recyclables. The pair soon developed a friendship, and when Summers discovered Smokie’s sleeping situation, he knew he had to help.
Summers said he became inspired one day after reading an article about a man in Oakland, California, who built tiny houses out of scrap material. The article prompted him to spend some money of his own to build a home for Smokie so she would no longer have to sleep in the dirt. Five days later, Summers presented the home to his friend.
“I had nowhere to really build it, so I just built it in the street outside of my apartment,” he told the Good News Network. “The local LAPD cops have been super cool, and have told me they support it – as long as we move it to a different spot every 72 hours.”
Summers, an entrepreneur who sells EDM apparel online, said it cost him a total of $500 to build Smokie’s home. Considering the low cost of the build and the positive response he received, Summers soon realized he could help other homeless individuals as well.
“I’ve met so many homeless people, good people,” he said. “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.”
He subsequently launched My Tiny House Project LA (Mythpla), raising money via GoFundMe and getting materials donated by local businesses.
“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,” Summers said. “The city owns or controls many properties which are just sitting collecting dust and could be used, even temporarily, to help save lives.”
Summers said he donated his phone to Smokie, and has been helping her to keep it charged so she can stay in touch with friends and family.
“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,” he said.
Watch video of Summers' amazing build below.
Photo Credit: goodnewsnetwork.org