A nonprofit group in San Diego is outraged after building shelter for a homeless man, only to find out he was arrested for living in it.
“It was nice,” Michael Clark, also known by friends as "Red," said about the tiny house built for him, which he lived in briefly. “I got my own bed in there. There was a vinyl floor and carpet on top of that and a window. Loved my house. I want my house back.”
He moved into the house on Dec. 12. On Dec. 15, police called for a tow truck to take away Clark’s house, which was in front of International Love Ministries of God in San Diego.
Clark says he was not confrontational, but was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of lodging without consent and encroachment on the public right of way.
The house was built for Clark by Jus Sayin Inc., a nonprofit organization that tried to build tiny houses for homeless people after seeing videos of a similar effort in Los Angeles. Lisa Kogan of Jus Sayin Inc. bailed Michael out of jail after he was arrested.
“I was expecting to have some issues, but I was not expecting Red to get put in jail,” Kogan told the San Diego Tribune. “It was very surprising. The fact is that there are tents all over the street. I feel he was singled out.”
According to Jus Sayin Inc. President Andy Aguilar, the house took up no more space than a regular tent and was built on wheels so it could be moved.
Anthony Brown, who sleeps in a tent in the area, says “Red cleans up around here every day” and called him a “good guy.” Brown watched police arrest Red.
“Had they written him a ticket and asked him to move the house he could have had plenty of help,” Brown told KGTV. “There was no discussion of a ticket. It was immediate handcuffs.”
Brown added that police said they would give him two hours to move the house, but then just minutes later a tow truck showed up to remove it.
According to Aguilar, 15 people chipped in to build Clark’s house. The whole project cost roughly $700. Fortunately, leftover money from a fundraiser to build Clark a house was enough to bail him out of the San Diego Jail.
Aguilar says he was given 90 days to retrieve the house from San Diego police. He is currently searching for a property owner to accept Clarke's home on their property.