Homeless man gets pod-shelter impounded

Thomas Mullen says his pod-shelter was damaged by CalTrans officials when they impounded it (July 24, 2017)

It's about 3-feet by 7-feet. Most call it a pod-shelter, but Thomas Mullen calls it his "box."

The 38-year-old has been living on the streets for seven years and said his box was his home until it was impounded a week and a half ago on July 12. The Sacramento Bee first reported on Mullen's situation.

Mullen's pod was under the HWY 50 overpass near 34th street before it was impounded. On Sunday, Mullen was living in a boarded up, burned and abandoned home.

"I don't know what they did but CalTrans took [my box] and destroyed it," Mullen said. He believes CalTrans employees damaged his pod when they impounded it.

Mullen sat on the porch of the home, next to the foam mat he sleeps on showing off the Bee article about his impounded shelter, he pointed at the photo of his damaged pod.

"When they took it was one piece and it wasn't collapsed wasn't crushed in," Mullen added.

CalTrans spokesperson Deanna Shoopman said employees were asked to get rid of the pod because it was on state property. She said Mullen was asked to move it before but did not move it far enough. Shoopman added that employees were actually told to throw the pod away but decided to store it for 90 days.

"That was my home, bed on wheels, my heart box, that's where I did all my work at," Mullen said.

His father built it for him, according to the article, and Mullen's father told the Bee that Thomas suffers from schizophernia.

During the interview with ABC10, Mullen took a break to take his medication but he also had other illegal drug paraphanilia.

"Loosing the pod was tough but that way was tougher," Mullen said.

Sacramento police officials said Mullen is known in the department and has been arrested before for unlawful camping.

Mullen said his dad is going to fix the damage that happened to the pod in the moving process and hopes he can get back into his "box" soon.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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