Homeless man turns abandoned construction site into home - New York News

Homeless man turns abandoned construction site into personal estate

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A homeless man in the Wicker Park neighborhood decided recently to put his hands to work and build himself a home.

51-year-old Bruce Johnson, who says he's been homeless for several decades, built a simple but solid a one-room dwelling over the last two months, using cinder blocks left behind by developers.

"Nobody knows that I'm here or not, because I keep a low profile, I stay by myself," Johnson says of his home.

You can't see the building handiwork from the street because of a large green tarp. There were supposed to be nine condos here, but the project was abandoned. Neighbors say Johnson did a lot of cleaning up when he moved in.

"He's been a good neighbor. No issues from him," says Guillermo Arauz.

Johnson says his home keeps him dry, and he's now added a stove. He makes sure to drink lots of bottled water and get his meals at a nearby food pantry.

He said he's had issues with substance abuse and the criminal justice system, but now he's trying to go straight--living off the scrap metal he collects in nearby alleys.

"Yah know, in my past I've made some bad decisions, and today I'm not trying to," Johnson says. "Yah know that's why I'm scavenging the cans and the little metals I can find in the alleys and things like that."

Johnson may live alone, but he's not alone when it comes to being homeless. A recent analysis by the Chicago coalition for the homeless found that a 116,000 people were homeless over the course of the last year.

Johnson knows he won't able to stay here for long.

"I'm sure the city's going to follow up on this and come and say you know what, you got to move," he says. "You know, I'm just going to say okay."

Johnson says he has some family in Wisconsin, but he prefers to, as he put it, love them at a distance.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Suspect arrested in 1990s cold-case murders on Long Island

    Suspect arrested in 1990s cold-case murders on Long Island

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:00:17 GMT
    SCPD photoSCPD photo
    Authorities on Long Island have arrested a suspect in two cold case murders dating to the 1990s. John Bittrolff, a married father of two, is the lead suspect in the deaths of two prostitutes whose bodies were found within months of each other in late 1993 and early 1994, authorities said. Police arrested the 48-year-old, who was arraigned at the district court in Central Islip.
    Authorities on Long Island have arrested a suspect in two cold case murders dating to the 1990s. John Bittrolff, a married father of two, is the lead suspect in the deaths of two prostitutes whose bodies were found within months of each other in late 1993 and early 1994, authorities said. Police arrested the 48-year-old, who was arraigned at the district court in Central Islip.
  • Real estate heir charged for urinating on candy

    Real estate heir charged for urinating on candy

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:51 PM EDT2014-07-22 19:51:49 GMT
    A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor a decade ago in Texas is facing a new charge in Houston that accuses him of urinating on candy at a drug store. Authorities say 71-year-old Robert Durst was arrested Sunday after arguing with store employees. They say he was charged with criminal mischief after urinating on at least $100 worth of candy.
    A New York City real estate heir who admitted killing his neighbor a decade ago in Texas is facing a new charge in Houston that accuses him of urinating on candy at a drug store. Authorities say 71-year-old Robert Durst was arrested Sunday after arguing with store employees. They say he was charged with criminal mischief after urinating on at least $100 worth of candy.
  • Search for masked robbers in Caesars heist

    Search for masked robbers in Caesars heist

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-07-22 19:28:51 GMT
    The hunt is on in southern New Jersey for two suspects who made off with more than $180K from Caesars Atlantic City casino. The brazen robbers reportedly stole the cash from two plastic boxes on the casino floor. The robbery occurred on Monday at about 6 a.m. The masked robbers took off in a vehicle. The State Police Casino Gaming Bureau is handling the investigation.
    The hunt is on in southern New Jersey for two suspects who made off with more than $180K from Caesars Atlantic City casino. The brazen robbers reportedly stole the cash from two plastic boxes on the casino floor. The robbery occurred on Monday at about 6 a.m. The masked robbers took off in a vehicle. The State Police Casino Gaming Bureau is handling the investigation.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices