There are many unsung heroes that never get the recognition they deserve. They save lives, give back to others, and make this world a better place. Such is the case with Elvis Summers. He’s just an average California man who believes that everyone deserves to have their most basic needs met. After Summers finishes working his regular job, he builds homes for the homeless. Over the past year, Elvis Summers has built and distributed 37 tiny houses to homeless across Los Angeles. However, Summer’s acts of kindness were not well received by LA’s city officials. LA began seizing these tiny houses from the homeless, citing they were illegal and against city ordinance and code. But, this would not discourage Elvis Summers from what was doing what’s right. He worked with the city and a couple of months later has LA returning the seized homes back to the homeless Summers’ had built them for.
He will never forget the day that changed everything. He learned that with some lumber, a hammer and nails, he could give the greatest gift of all to someone in need.
Elvis Summers Is Changing The Lives of The Homeless In Los Angeles
Summers had just finished a long day at work. There was a knock at his door, it was Irene McGee. She is a 60-year-old homeless woman that ravages through the rubbish in the neighborhood. She is always looking for things to sell to make money. She asked if she could have some of his recyclable waste. Summers obliged. Every week, she would come back for more. It wasn’t long before he formed a relationship with her. He found out that she was sleeping on a mound of dirt near his home.
The Tiny House Movement
Summers started doing some research. Due to the increasing cost of owning a home, people all across America are downsizing and living in smaller structures. This movement has inspired many to live with the “less is more” philosophy. A tiny house is considered a home that is under 500 square feet, which would be easy for him to create. Most of them are on trailers, and they can be moved from location to location. To a person with no home, even a small dwelling is like living in a mansion.
Using some recycled materials and new lumber, he built his first mobile home on wheels. He is empowering these people by giving the greatest need of all, shelter. Though the tiny house movement has become popular for the eco-conscious, hipster crowd, they serve a great purpose to those who have no place to call home. They are easy to build, inexpensive to make, and can provide a safe haven from the elements. No, they are not fancy with all the bells and whistles a regular home would have, but they give them a place to sleep and eat. Most of all, they have a door that locks for security.
Putting A Dent In The Homeless Population In California
In California, the problem of homelessness has gotten completely out of hand. It is estimated that more than 46,000 people in Los Angeles are without a home. Summers wanted to help. For McGee, he created a shelter that was 6-by 8-feet. He put solar panels inside to provide power. He also installed a camping toilet so that she had a facility to use. The total cost of this project was a mere $1,200. Yet, to McGee, it was priceless. He put the video on YouTube to show these homes as a solution to the homeless issues. The video went viral and he became a hit sensation. He didn’t want fame or fortune, he wanted to help.
Building With Brotherly Love
Summers has completed 37 tiny houses in all. While the city hasn’t been really supportive, he is hoping to get them on board with his ideas. Summers found that there are 7,500 lots in the city that are vacant. These lots have not been used in decades. He wants the city to get behind him and support these people. Not only does getting them off the street help the safety issues of the city, but it means that people have something to take pride in. A reason to keep going.
Summer found donors who allowed their private land to be used as a parking lot for the tiny houses. He is in the process of creating 20 new homes on this land. He is also working on a mobile shower unit to be installed in his later editions. There has been opposition at times, but it doesn’t matter what the issue, he keeps right on building. There are many who are supporting him, and they want to join in the fight. For Summers, it comes down to three things, shelter, food, and security. If a person has these things, they have the foundation for their life.
Uniting To Give Back
The National Alliance to End Homelessness has been in contact with Summer regarding his humanitarian efforts. He has received donations, and more people are helping. He is overwhelmed by the support he has received from others who want to join in his efforts. In time, he hopes that the city of Los Angeles will see the good he is doing and join forces too.
Summers is trying to help as many homeless people as he can. Though he knows that he cannot even begin to make a dent in the massive problem, he can make a difference to a few. For now, he is working with what he has to help as many as he can. He doesn’t see it as helping though, he sees his efforts as trying to shape society. Those who have something to take pride in usually want to do more and be better citizens. No wonder Summers is hailed as a hero. He is changing lives with each tiny house he constructs. If you want to get involved in helping Elvis fight on behalf of the homeless in LA, donate to his gofundme campaign (link below).