Elvis Summers builds tiny houses for those without homes and now he's passing on the skills.
Elvis Summers has built over 40 tiny houses for the homeless in the Los Angeles area, and when teacher Tina Toval heard about it, she knew she had to introduce him to her students.
After completing a project on sustainable housing, Tina’s 4th- and 5th-grade students had the opportunity to learn about Elvis’ work, and now the students — all 135 of them — are helping him build a tiny house for a homeless veteran. Tina says, “I think it’s going to change their lives.”
The students have been coming to the building site in shifts during the school year, with about 15 students coming to the site each week during the summer. “It’s amazing that we get to build a house for someone that has helped our country,” student McKenna Hewitt says.
While some students have the valuable opportunity of raising money for such causes, these students have had the unique chance to take a hands-on approach and learn exactly what goes into a project like Elvis’. Elvis says his strategy is based on the housing-first model which, he reports, “has proven several times over to that it’s quicker and cheaper to get somebody a place first, then address secondary and third issues that people might need.” With a homeless population of nearly 60,000 in Los Angeles, Elvis’ take-action philosophy is appealing to many people who want to make a difference, and with the right skills they can.