LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Tiny makeshift houses used by transients could soon be removed from the streets of Los Angeles without notice under an existing city ordinance, some city leaders voted this week.
One of those makeshift structures underneath the 101 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles is providing the only home a homeless man called The Birdman has ever had in the 25 years he’s lived on the streets.
“It feels good. It feels great,” said The Birdman, whose tiny home and the colorful mural that frames it is the work of a street artist who calls himself Skid Robot.
“It’s a temporary solution until we find a permanent one,” Skid Robot said.
But this week, a committee within the Los Angeles City Council disagreed by voting that tiny houses like The Birdman’s are bulky items that can be removed without notice under an existing city ordinance.
“This creates a public safety public health hazard,” Councilman Joe Buscaino said.
“All well-intentioned, but that’s not the solution we’re looking for, and we’re trying to get people off the streets with supportive houses and not to have them remain on the street, and this is what those tiny homes are doing,” Buscaino said.
Skid Robot’s response:
“So this home here provides security to a small degree, but at least away from the rats that won’t bite him at night when he sleeps. It’s a bed above the floor. It’s a window to close and it’s somewhere to feel peaceful, and everyone can relate to that. Everyone deserves that,” he said.
“Well, for one thing, I can relax on the bed instead of laying on the concrete. Ever laid on the concrete for 25 years? You’ll appreciate a bed if you do,” The Birdman said.