In south Los Angeles, a remarkable act of kindness occurred. For ten years, Irene “Smokie” McGee had been living on the streets since her husband’s death and losing her home. At 60, she resorted to sleeping in the dirt and collecting recycling to afford meals. Most nights, she camped outside an apartment complex.
Elvis Summers, a resident of the complex, remarked, “She’s a human being, a 60-year-old mother and grandmother sleeping in the dirt, it’s just not right.” Moved by her situation, Elvis built Irene a home using $500 worth of wood he bought, donations from a local business, and his construction expertise. “I just wanted to build something safe enough… so she’d be warm and comfortable,” he said.
Irene expressed her gratitude after spending her first night in the 3.5 ft by 8 ft house, saying, “It felt so good… I think I must have slept half the day.”
Elvis’s gesture shows the difference one can make with compassion and action.