California school children help build
tiny homes for LA's homeless
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[August 29, 2017]
By Jane Ross
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles man
who has spent more than two years building tiny, portable homes to help
house the city's homeless population recruited a group of fourth and
fifth grade children to aid his mission.
Elvis Summers, 40, has built dozens of compact one-room homes on wheels.
For his latest construction, a 28-foot-by-8- foot home, he has teamed up
with a group of more than 100 children, aged 9 to 11, from a local
Mariposa Robles, 10, sawed planks of wood, installed floor insulation
and helped raise the plywood walls of a tiny house. Around 135 children
have been involved with the project, working in shifts over a year.
"It's so amazing seeing it all come together," an excited Robles told
Robles' school, Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School in
Castaic, California, reached out to Summers to help build houses and has
raised almost $6,000 of a $19,00 target through crowd-funding website
GoFundMe to finish the home.
Los Angeles' homeless population is estimated at about 58,000, according
to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
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Tiny house builder Elvis Summers (middle) stands inside the shell of
a tiny house he is building for a homeless veteran with some of the
children helping him build it, (L-R) Jordan Diem, Sam Diem, Elvis
Summers, Skyler Hewitt (top) and McKenna Hewitt in Santa Clarita,
California, U.S. on August 2, 2017. Picture taken August 2, 2017.
Even as American cities grapple with a chronic shortage of affordable
housing, as well as budget constraints on social programs, many
municipalities across the United States have also been clamping down on
Summers said that because the tiny house is built on wheels from an
old trailer, it is legally considered a recreational vehicle, "which
allows more flexibility in where they can be placed."
(Reporting by Jane Ross for Reuters TV)
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