LA County artist-activist plans to distribute 5,000 vibrant-color tents to homeless population

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- The colors are bright, vibrant and designed to attract attention -- they adorn tents for the homeless, and soon thousands of the tents could be on the streets of Los Angeles.

"The design is awesome -- easy to set up and easy to take down," said Santa Monica resident Greg Siders, who himself was once homeless.

The tents were created by artist Ed Massey, the same artist who created a widely-seen statue of a homeless man in Santa Monica.

"We will distribute -- in the next five to 15 months -- 5,000 tents" for free, Massey said. "Up to 5,000 is an initial starting point. So the homeless person who may need a new tent will have a more colorful tent."

Massey says he understands that not everyone agrees with his idea. Some see it as enabling a problem rather than helping to solve it.

"I think this will just cause more issues -- not only among the homeless population, but other people are not going to like it and they're going to be reactive to it and likely destructive."

"We don't need more tents in Los Angeles," Massey said. "We don't need more beautiful tents. There's no need to have a very colorful tent.

"We need the men and women - the flesh and blood that are out on the streets to get real housing, and that's part of the initiative."
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