Handy homeless man builds 2-storey flat in Skid Row – but things turn ‘violent’

A resourceful homeless man with a hidden talent took matters into his own hands by building a two-storey apartment on a pavement in Los Angeles's most notorious neighbourhood, Skid Row.

But despite catching the eye of people in the city, even becoming the subject of a viral TikTok video, the project ended in misery and 'violence' after the condo was demolished.

Artist James Safari Parker, also known as Minus, spent months constructing the property out of cardboard and wood, furnishing it with a sofa, table and a Christmas tree.

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The flat was situated on the pavement in an area rife with drink and drug abuse, as well as violent crime.

Footage filmed by YouTuber Hood Stocks showed the interior of the property, which included a ladder to access the top floor as well as usual household items.

In the clips, Minus revealed that he used to work in architectural drafting but owing to an issue with paperwork, he had ended up living rough.

Plastic artist Chandrika Metivier, who was alerted to the home on TikTok, was also seen on film, wrapping the apartment in foil – her niche.

But in the days following, the home was demolished for breaching encampment laws.

Minus was subsequently placed in temporary accommodation and Chandrika launched a crowdfunding page to help him find a more permanent solution. Around £16,000 was raised.

He received half of the fundraising proceeds and the rest was donated to a rehoming non-profit organisation after a vote from people who had contributed to the cause.

Chandrika revealed that the episode had been triggering for Minus, leading to "violence".

She wrote on the campaign page: "The mission was to secure permanent housing for James. He made several agreements for housing but didn’t uphold any of them.

"He’s progressively exposed aggressive behaviour and threatening demeanors/thoughts towards me throughout this time.

“He expressed to me that there are things that trigger extreme violence within him.

"It’s gotten to the point where it’s become unsafe due to his phobias and what he’s capable of. He has rejected any form of mental health care and is not interested in receiving that form of help at this time.

"I didn’t realize that this is a big part of homelessness – people grappling with their life experiences.”

Skid Row has the largest population of homeless people in the US.

The area, home to the infamous Cecil Hotel, is littered with drugs including meth and thousands of used alcohol bottles.

Armes, a Skid Row resident for over a year, previously told the Sun: "This is the Wild West, We have everything crazy going on here; drugs, alcohol, prostitution, fighting, violence.

"It's a society within a society, the homeless people sell drugs and alcohol to other homeless people.

"But there's no love for anybody."


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