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Homeless Inventor Mike Williams to Pick 250 Homeless for Pods Community Prototypes

( [email protected] ) Mar 26, 2013 05:06 AM EDT
Homeless inventor Mike Williams, who was given a second chance in life by a Chinese-American urologist Dr. Jong L. Chen, is planning to form a pod community comprised of around 250 homeless people, whose skills will be “harvested” by giving them work.
A rendering of the pod prototype designed by Williams in his joint venture with Chen. Courtesy of Mike Williams

Homeless inventor Mike Williams, who was given a second chance in life by a Chinese-American urologist Dr. Jong L. Chen, is planning to form a pod community comprised of around 250 homeless people, whose skills will be “harvested” by giving them work.

Williams, who holds over 20 patents, including the first intra-oral camera and wire catheter camera for heart surgery, said that there are approximately 30 percent of homeless people who are educated and skilled, but have just lost it all and have no idea of how to survive as a new homeless person.

These are the types of homeless people he will be searching out through interviews with those finding shelter at churches and non-profits. These individuals who are selected to live in the pod community will be put to work and paid at minimum wage at $8 for 4-6 hours per day.

Prior to becoming homeless, William was the CEO of the nation’s second largest intra-oral camera manufacturing company with over 13 million dollars in annual revenue. At that time, Williams has setup schools in Africa. He said in Africa there are these open-air restaurants called Carnivore that served a wide-variety of meats and hired hundreds of people at servers and waiters to serve the thousands of customers per day. People in the community can be servers and waiters and receive tips, which was a way to feed the homeless people.

Using that as an example, Williams said he needs an army of workers to produce marketing materials and other materials to promote and distribute these portable pods and setup pod communities throughout the states and around the world. While he was at Salvation Army for 100 days, Williams has helped six people land jobs on a Norwegian Cruise line.

While providing work for these homeless people, Williams said that the pods community will offer Wifi, simple savings program to help the homeless save money, and all kinds of detox program to help them get back on their feet.

This past weekend, Williams and Chen have setup the non-profit foundation for organizations to donate and sponsor their pods and community prototypes. As of now, a two acre land that is just outside of Sacramento was donated for the pods community prototype.

Williams said that he wants to approach philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah, Donald Trump, and others with his portable pods and pods community ideas that will provide a safe and secure shelter for the homeless and those displaced in the society.

Williams said that everything has to work and line-up. The space-age pods are going to beautifully presented with LED lights, solar battery radio system. Instead of making it like a dog house, he said that homeless people will have pride that they actually have a pod.

The 6-by-8-foot stackable pods, molded from poly-resin fiberglass, will come pre-assembled – with a chemical toilet, solar power capabilities, plexiglass doors and windows and battery-operated heaters and fans.

“It is going to be treated with respect. When you are homeless, you are not treated with respect. Instead, you are treated with disrespect,” said Williams, who came up with the idea of a portable pod while taking shelter in a large green dumpster.

Each pod will costs around $6,500. Williams and his venture partner Dr. Jong L. Chen will also take individual orders from those who want these pods for their personal use.

Williams said he has spoken with a representative from Veteran Affairs in Riverside, Southern California. The VA has only six beds, but they have a large plot of land, and they are thinking about purchasing 500-600 pods.

“Whatever your faults are, it doesn’t make a difference. You will have a place to stay and something to do. I’m going to treat them with respect and love,” he said. “If it is going to take a homeless to help another homeless, then so be it.”

Because their story has been picked up by Los Angeles Times, it has been widely circulated. Their story will be made into a movie by a major motion film company. Williams has said that Fox television may getting the final bid.

For more information, please visit Stepshousing.org