Craigslist Ad Offering Tents for Rent With Wi-Fi and Solar Pop Up in Whittier - NBC Southern California
Streets of Shame

Streets of Shame

Southern California's Homelessness Epidemic

Craigslist Ad Offering Tents for Rent With Wi-Fi and Solar Pop Up in Whittier

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Showdown in Whittier Over Tents for Homeless

    A Craigslist ad shows that someone was trying to rent out tents in Whittier set up next to a bust boulevard for profit, but the person who owns the tents said he never put up the ad, and only wants to help the homeless. Mekahlo Medina reports for the NBC4 News at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

    (Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019)

    A man who set up tents for the homeless in Whittier complete with Wi-Fi said he was just trying to help, but the city said it's clear the tents were put up for profit after a Craigslist ad was marketing them for $400 a month. 

    The manager of the tents, set up on the greenbelt next to busy Whittier Boulevard, said he is not moving them even though the state ordered he pack up by Thursday.

    "In the morning, we open them up, and they can charge their phone. There's a place to sit down in there and get some water," Mark Gutierrez said.

    Gutierrez said his tents are providing a service to the homeless. He provides power via solar panels, and Wi-Fi. 

    Controversy Surrounds Whittier Tents With Solar Power and WiFi

    [LA] Controversy Surrounds Whittier Tents With Solar Power and WiFi

    The city became concerned after an ad listing the tents for rent. Mekahlo Medina reports for Today in LA on Wednesday April 17, 2019.

    (Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019)

    But the California Highway Patrol sees it as a safety issue, due to the proximity to fast-traveling traffic on the boulevard. 

    CalTrans also owns the land, and jointly with the CHP ordered Gutierrez to remove them. The mayor of Whittier, Joe Vinatieri, and another council member expressed outrage on social media after discovering the ad.

    Gutierrez however says the order to vacate isn't valid, and he claims he never put up the Craigslist ad, which has since been taken down. 

    The city said it's clear the intent was to rent out the tents for profit, though Gutierrez denies this. 

    "I think this is someone who was taking advantage of a situation for their own profit. My family and I provide some assistance to homeless in different ways, but we definitely do not do it for our own profit," said councilwoman Cathy Warner.

    The city said it's working with the homeless people who've set up other tents next to Gutierrez's, and those will be relocated.

    Homeless Students Say They Feel Invisible

    [LA] Homeless Students Say They Feel Invisible

    A bill to allow California community colleges to sleep in their cars overnight is part of a solution to address the homelessness crisis touching student life. Ted Chen reports for the NBC4 News at 4, Monday, April 8, 2019.

    (Published Monday, April 8, 2019)

    But the souped-up Wi-Fi and solar-powered tents have to be gone by Thursday, according to the state order.

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