SACRAMENTO — At the end of 2016, Oak Park resident and artist Aimee Phelps decided she wanted to help out the homeless in her community so she and friend Kevin Greenberg formed the “Art Through Pods” project.
The Pods look like small trailers that are just big enough to fit a person inside and are meant to give the homeless a place to sleep and stay out of the elements.
Six months later and some residents aren’t happy with the side effects of what was intended to be a good gesture.
“Try putting these in the Fab 40s, they wouldn’t last 24 hours,” says Oak Park resident Devion Barlow, referring to the affluent neighborhood in East Sacramento.
Barlow and others say homeless and their Pods come in and out of certain streets in Oak Park, like his neighborhood on V Street.
Complaints come in the form of left behind trash and the fact that the homeless are strangers in what can be otherwise closely knit communities.
“These Pods made them visible, so people are noticing their trash and noticing things they’re doing as before they never noticed,” Phelps told FOX40.
Phelps said she understands the complaints but also adds the homeless were in Oak Park long before Pods came along, adding that she has hired a nurse to check up on the Pod users and has also had others and herself pick up the trash that can be left behind.
Gladys Brown is a homeless Pod user who says she is extremely grateful for what Phelps has provided her, her Pod is very well kept with no trash, but she says asking other Pod users to be clean like her would be a request that wouldn’t be fruitful.
“It wouldn’t matter, they are going to do it their way, but I’ll keep doing it my way,” Brown says.
FOX40 contacted city officials in Sacramento who deal with homeless issues, we were told the city has spoken to those on both sides of the issue, and they will continue to monitor any developments.