LA Man Builds Tiny Home for Homeless Veteran With Helping Hand From School Kids
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
Homelessness is a huge problem in cities all over the world, but in Los Angeles one man has offered a tiny solution. Elvis Summers began My Tiny House Project LA (MYTHPLA) with a simple mission: “To give people in the world a safe place to sleep.” About two and a half years ago he proposed “The Houseless” for the homeless in L.A., to build a solid foundation to begin their transition from “Houseless back to a societal Human.”
Summers depends on the kindness of funding with The Tiny House, Huge Purpose charity to help communities “develop sustainable, ecological, simple, easy-to-maintain systems to get shelter and services to everyone who needs it.”
Since his tiny home project began two and a half years ago, Summers estimated he’s built 42 mini houses making many homeless very happy.
“It touches the heart of an old man like me,” one tiny home resident said.
Summers was inspired by Smokie, a 60-year-old homeless woman who slept on the sidewalk in his Los Angeles neighborhood. Summers formed the company Starting Human in February 2015 and asked GoFundMe for help. That plea resulted in a very tiny house – just four feet by eight feet – in April 2015, and the idea took off from there.
“Everybody has a different story but they’re still human beings. And the simple fact is that being out on the streets is life or death and without shelter people die. Why do I do what I do? Because it’s just simply the right thing to do,” he told Inside Edition.
His latest tiny home funding project comes from the local school community. Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School have partnered with iLEADSchools.org – a project-based learning organization – to immerse themselves into a Tiny House Hunters Project. The task of these fourth and fifth graders involved getting their hands dirty with power tools, hammers and nails to build a “real tiny home for a veteran in need with the experience that comes with giving back,” according to their GoFundMe page.
Money donated to the fund went to supplies including hardware, tools, and a trailer. In the last five months 99 people have donated $5,790 toward $19,000 goal – enough to get them started and team up with Summers to build their creation.
“When the school reached out to me and, you know, said that the fourth and fifth grade class want to build a house, I was completely excited and they said well, you know, we want to build it a little bigger than, you know, your normal size and I was like, yeah let’s do it,” Summers told Reuters.
Oddly enough Summers isn’t from a construction background; in fact he lists his other professional skills on his Facebook page as “empathy, Jedi, and singing in the shower.” He just has a passion for building things and helping people. Summers’ long-term hopes include establishing tiny house communities with bathroom, laundry facilities, and communal gardens. When it’s completed, Summers will set up the tiny house on available land and invite a homeless veteran to move in.
It will look something like this.
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