Homeless Inventor Gets a Second Chance with Portable Housing Pod


Mike Williams was broke and homeless, living on the streets, until he teamed up with a doctor that gave him a second chance at life. Early in Mike Williams’ life, he saw great success as an inventor. A dentist visit for a cracked tooth would change his life forever.

Mike was at the dentist for his cracked tooth and asked if he could see it. The dentist told him he could use a mirror, but there was no camera or anything to show him the inside of his mouth. Well Mike decided to invent something that would let people see inside their mouths, the first intraoral camera.

The invention was a success, and it led to other medical technology ventures that made him millions of dollars. However, Mike’s life as an inventor and entrepreneur would be short lived, as soon he would be broke and homeless. After the housing market crashed and destroyed many of his financial capabilities, his home went into foreclosure in 2009. He was then scammed and lost about $2.5 million, and the hits kept coming. His wife asked for a divorce, his kids collected their things, and Williams was in the streets.

Last August, Mike was sleeping in a park in Sacramento when two men kicked and beat him unconscious. They took all of his belongings and left him severely injured. Little did he know that the beating would change his life and give him a second chance.

With no health insurance, Williams had to wait hours to see a doctor. Finally he was seen by Dr. Jong Chen, the man who would give Mike the second chance he needed. They struck up conversation during the visit and Dr. Chen asked about how Mike became homeless and what he did before that. Mike was telling him his story when he told the doctor, “As a matter of fact, I’m the inventor of that little wire catheter you’re using.”Portable Housing Pod

Dr. Chen thought it was a waste for such an amazing inventor to be living on the streets, so he decided to team up with Mike. They went to breakfast soon after to talk about any new ideas Mike had devised. He then told the doctor about his idea for a portable housing unit that would provide a secure, safe place for the homeless and people that are displaced in society. Williams said he came up with the idea while resting in a dumpster, one of the only safe places he could find. He even drew up plans for a 6 by 6 foot structure that had a bed and chemical toilet.

With Dr. Chen’s help, they created a company to start working on a prototype portable housing pod. They envisioned more applications, such as FEMA using them for emergency housing and airports renting them out to travelers with long layovers.

Dr. Chen helped get Mike back on his feet, and the duo are working on producing their portable housing pod.