Society

Homeless Man Turns Underpass Into 'Paradise Lane'

| by Jonathan Constante

A Los Angeles homeless man transformed a freeway underpass into his own personal living space (video below).

In a video posted to Facebook, Ceola Waddell Jr., 59, gives a virtual tour of his outdoor home, which features beds, make-shift jacuzzis, toilets, couches and a tent for guests to sleep in, the Daily Mail reported.

The footage quickly went viral, and Waddell's home, which he calls "Paradise Lane," became an unlikely tourist attraction.

"You have now entered Paradise Lane," Waddell says in the video. "Let me give you a little tour. This is my jacuzzi, it holds 10 gallons of water. All it is is a refrigerator on its bottom. I'm being innovative."

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"Come on down, you have now entered the man cave," he continues. This is where my quarters are."

Paradise Lane also features a "guest room," with another bed, toilet, "jacuzzi" and tent. He rents the space out to other homeless people at a rate of $10 a night and $25 for a week.

"So welcome to L.A. and welcome to Paradise Lane," Waddell signs off in the video.

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Since the video went viral, tourist started visiting Waddell at Paradise Lane. He sold hot dogs to the visitors and took selfies with them, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“I refuse to let the city beat me down to what they think a homeless person’s profile is, living on cardboard,” Waddell told the Los Angeles Times. “This should be a landmark.”

While Paradise Lane has become a viral sensation, city officials say they've received complaints.

“There’s been a great deal of public safety and public health concern from neighbors in the area, as well as LAPD and the Sanitation Department,” district spokeswoman Angelina D. Valencia said.

Waddell, who first became homeless at age 14 in Memphis, Tennessee, reportedly refused homeless services and declined to receive temporary housing. However, Waddell insists that he wants housing because of a recent incident where two men tried to rob him at gunpoint as he slept in his bed.

“This is not going to be the end of my life,” he told the newspaper.

Sanitation crews have twice dismantled Paradise Lane, but Waddell rebuilt the set up with the help of some friends.

“I still don’t get it, what’s so fascinating about this place,” Waddell added. “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.”

Sources: Daily Mail, Los Angeles Times / Photo Credit: Facebook via Daily Mail

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