WHITTIER (CBSLA) – A Craigslist ad offering to rent solar-powered tents with WiFi for $400 has some people outraged in Whittier.
The tents popped up near a growing homeless encampment on a greenbelt along Whittier Boulevard, which is located on Caltrans property owned by the state.
The ad – which has since been taken down – pictured what Gregory Williams says is a tent that is merely a solar-powered charging station, not a temporary housing solution.
“It can charge up to 100 cell phones, it can also provide WiFi for up to 15 devices,” Williams said. “I offered it here for free for everyone to use.”
But the now-deleted Craiglist ad – which had the headline “Solar Powered Wifi Tent For Rent $400 Monthly” – offered a 10×10 tent outfitted with “solar powered electricity, wifi, lock, trash and security”.
The ad also indicated biweekly rates were available starting at $200.
Williams said the ad was bogus.
“I’m thinking that was haters, copycats,” he said. “It’s open season on the internet, you know it’s Craigslist…people just want to shed negative light on this whole thing.”
Some residents were furious over the apparent ad.
“It has no place in a public setting like that, a tent does not have a place,” said Victor DeLeon. “This is not a camping area.”
Williams says the tents were set up as a demo for other cities with high homeless populations.
“I have a GoFundMe page that I’m trying to get out there and get word that I have these solar charging stations and I want to put in all high traffic areas so that people can use for free,” he said.
The state has since deemed the setup an illegal campsite and ordered the tents to come down. It wasn’t clear whether that order had been complied with as of Thursday afternoon.