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Entrepreneur's Nonprofit Rolls Out a Nontraditional Shelter for the Homeless EDAR offers mobile protection to give homeless people a roof as a low-cost alternative solution to a widespread community problem.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

He's got it covered: Peter Samuelson with an edar unit.
He's got it covered: Peter Samuelson with an EDAR unit.
Photo© Jeff Clark

The disagreement started at dinner. It ended on Skid Row. Media entrepreneur Peter Samuelson thought Richard Riordan, the former mayor of Los Angeles, didn't fully appreciate the extent of the county's homeless issue. So Samuelson asked Riordan to join him to sleep out on L.A.'s Skid Row, a downtown area known for its homeless population. Last November, after sleeping among an estimated 200 homeless people, Riordan wrote a check for $10,000 to Samuelson's nonprofit Everyone Deserves a Roof, which provides homeless people with rolling shelter units called EDARs, a name that doubles as the organization's shortened moniker.

Samuelson has a long history of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. He's the co-founder of Splashlife, a membership network that targets millennials; the producer behind such films as Revenge of the Nerds, Arlington Road and Tom & Viv; and the co-founder, with Steven Spielberg and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, of the Starbright Foundation.

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