When a kind man learned that a local homeless woman was sleeping on hard concrete; no boxes, no tent, he went to his local hardware store and built her a tiny house on wheels himself.
Elvis Summers lives in Los Angeles, and most mornings he is greeted by Smokie, a friendly 60-year-old homeless woman who asks if he has any extra recyclables. Following several encounters, the two began to have regular conversations and became friends!!!
When Elvis inquired about Smokie’s whereabouts, she humbly stated that she was “living down the street.” “I know you said you lived down the block, but where exactly do you sleep?” Elvis inquired.
To his surprise, Smokie shared that she just slept next to a building a few blocks away, no tarp, no tent or boxes, just on the hard concrete.
“I figured she at the very least had a cardboard box, a tarp, or something, but she had none of that,” Elvis said. “She was like, ‘Well, I don’t have anything [so] I just sleep next to the building.”
“I still am choked up over it,” Elvis said. “She was married for a long time and had a house and her husband died. She lost her husband and then she lost her house and that’s how she ended up on the street.”
Feeling a deep sense of compassion for this sweet homeless woman, Elvis decided that he was going to do what he could to help her. He skipped some of his own meals and bills in order to budget and buy the materials needed to build Smokie a tiny house: one where she could sleep in comfort.
“That got me. I just jumped in the car and went to Home Depot. I was like, ‘Screw it.’ I mean I skipped on buying a little bit of food – a lot of bit of food – skipped on a couple of bills and just made it happen.”Elvis had read an article about a man in Oakland who had been making tiny houses out of discarded material, so he thought he’d give it a try.
He Budgeted around $500 to get the materials, which included a front door, two locks, a window, and sturdy wheels to go under the house. The roof shingles and siding were out of his budget, but a kind manager named Rick from Allied Building kindly donated them for Smokie after Elvis shared with him what he was using them for. It took five days to build, and Elvis created a time-lapse video of the construction.