A resourceful homeless man has constructed an elaborate housing unit underneath the 110 freeway in Los Angeles, fully furnished with a kitchen, beds, and even a shower.
In a viral FaceBook video, Ceola Waddell Jr. welcomes viewers to his roadside home.
“You have now entered Paradise Lane,” Waddell Jr. says in the two-minute video.
His innovative abode features a “jacuzzi” (two refrigerators that serve as a bathtub when filled with water), two toilets (plastic bags gather the waste), and accommodations for guests.
The 59-year-old also has a living room set, canopy bed, zebra-print slipcovers and a tent that Waddell says he rents out for around $25 a week or $10 a night.
According to the Los Angeles Times, for the last six months, Waddell has lived beneath the freeway, the city’s sanitation crews have dismantled his living quarters several times.
The paper reported that workers recently removed a refrigerator with an “abundance of rotting food,” “explosive materials” and other unhealthy items, said Bureau of Sanitation spokeswoman Elena Stern.
Stern told the Times Waddell refused homeless services, including temporary housing. But Waddell claims he would gladly opt to live in an apartment over the outdoors but the government agencies drag their feet.
Los Angeles has the second-highest population of homeless individuals of all U.S. cities, according to a report released this month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In February, the city released a plan to combat homelessness, issuing a $1.2-billion bond to fund new homeless housing. But the construction will take 10 years, and, according to the paper, housing homeless people in the meantime is moving slowly.
Meanwhile, Waddell—who first became homeless at the age of 14—and other L.A. homeless residence, will continue to do what they know how to do; roll with the punches and make the best out of a bad situation.
“I still don’t get it, what’s so fascinating about this place,” Waddell told the Times. “I decided I wanted to live like everybody else, make me something nice that I wanted to come home to.
“If I was in the Arctic I’d make me an igloo.”