How many times have you passed a homeless person without thinking much about their situation? Chances are we all have at some point. Homelessness is a pervasive issue that doesn’t seem to have any easy solution, but one man made a perfect demonstration of how to make a difference.
Smokie is a 60-year-old homeless woman who lives in Los Angeles, and spends most of her time on a patch of dirt near an apartment building. Elvis Summers lives in that apartment building, and the two became aquainted as Smokie would often ask him for bottles and cans that she could recycle.
Then one day Elvis heard about Greg Kloehn, a kind spirit in Oakland who made a name for himself building small shelters for homeless out of scraps he found in the garbage. He used pallets, bed boards, washing machine doors, and whatever else he could find to build the little homes, barely larger than a dog house.
Elvis was inspired by Greg, and decided he would make a home for Smokie, which you see here. The LAPD has been good-natured about things, saying as long as she moved it every few days nobody could complain.
It took five days and about $500 for Elvis to build the home, and he documented the process in a video he shared on Youtube:
“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 story is a great example of how one person can make a difference in the world, and also a practical demonstration of how tiny homes can help solve a very real problem in the world. After he finished, Elvis decided to launch a project called Mythpla (my tiny house project LA) to fund more shelters, and plans to continue building tiny homes for people who need them.
You can visit this Gofundme page to contribute to the effort.