Would you pass by someone who lives along your street? One man couldn’t.
Elvis Summers could no longer take the sight of seeing 60-year-old Irene “Smokie” McGhee living along the street in his neighborhood in Los Angeles. This compelled him to build her a proper place to stay.
Smokie had started living on the streets after she lost her husband in 2004 and could not afford the Los Angeles house they lived in.
Smokie would usually stop by Elvis’ apartment most mornings to ask for any recyclables. It did not take long for the two to become friends. What Smokie did not expect that their friendship will leave a mark in her life.
One day, Elvis came across an article in the news about a man in Oakland who makes tiny houses out of discarded material. That inspired him to build one for Smokie. He put off paying a few 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 the tiny house. He could not build it elsewhere except in the street outside his apartment. The tiny house, which cost him $500, had two locks for the front door and wheels for moving it around.
The LA authorities had been supportive of what he was building – so long as Smokie would move the house to a different spot after 3 days.
And now, Smokie finally has her own home sweet home for the first time after a decade.
Elvis now helps build houses for the homeless through the Tiny House Huge Purpose funding campaign that he had launched.
Watch the time-lapse video of the construction of Smokie’s tiny abode below:
For more stories of kids and adults alike who helped provide shelter and food to the homeless, click on the links below: