Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An artist builds little homes for the homeless in Oakland, California

Here is a story about a person who trained as an artist but who also spends his time building little homes for homeless people.

Here is the article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

charming - so the artist does not build cheap-looking, ugly structures. He builds 'charming' structures - they are attractive and cute and pleasant looking.

peddling, to peddle - selling, to sell; in the old days peddlers walked around or drove in horses and buggies and sold things publicly, like vegetables.

a shelter - a safe place

pricey - expensive

mobile - movable

illegally discarded garbage - if a company has a lot of extra wood or other things that it does not need, it costs money to dispose of (get rid of) this stuff, so they will sometimes just drive it to an area where there are no people or few people and dump the stuff illegally.

a wood pallet - this is a flat piece of wood on which goods or products are stacked or piled up.

the foundation - the floor of the little house

insulated - insulation is the material put inside a wall to try to keep a building warm in the winter. So this artist uses pizza delivery bags inside the walls to help keep the inside of the little houses warm.

a pitched roof - a roof that is slanted; a roof that is not flat

just night and day - I think he means temporary, not permanent

cramped quarters - living space where there is very little room to move around

a dumpster - a giant garbage can that you often see outside of supermarkets

an abode - a home

an influx - in this case, people coming in; an influx is something coming in

an advocate - someone who speaks out for something; someone who believes in something and encourages others to support it

unconventional - not normal, not ordinary

vulnerable - easily hurt, easily harmed

priced out by soaring rent - unable to afford the rising rents

minimum wage - the lowest amount of money an employer may legally pay an employee

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