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Homeless man builds his own cabin in Seattle public park and people are divided
Featured Image Credit: KOMO

Homeless man builds his own cabin in Seattle public park and people are divided

Steven Irwin, 41, has built the cabin in Dr Jose Rizal Park

A homeless man has built a cabin in a park and brought along an excavator to 'dig for gold'.

Steven Irwin, 41, set up camp at the site in Dr. Jose Rizal Park - of which he claims he has permission to do so.

It's the second time that Mr Irwin has constructed a cabin at the site after Seattle's parks and recreation department spent some $15,000 removing the last one and repairing the site in October 2023.

Now, he has returned to the site and rebuilt his cabin, including bringing along an excavator.

The 41-year-old has also added a number of new elements to the cabin, including fireplaces, propane heaters, several generators, a washing machine, and even a treadmill.

Andrea Suarez of homeless advocacy group We Heart Seattle told KOMO News: “He is digging into the slopes, building structures, tearing down trees, undoing thousands of dollars in repairs."

Suarez also highlighted that there are further risks caused by Mr Irwin's activity in the area, including environmental risks.

Mr Irwin build a cabin in the park.
KOMO News

She said: “There’s also a risk for him being in that environment. There are smells of kerosene, propane, and gasoline – there are three different forms of fuel down here, wires everywhere."

Suarez also described how Mr Irwin has claimed that he is digging for gold and precious stones in the park.

“He’s dreaming up that this is a gold mine, that he’s mining for diamonds, and that he is going to find gold and strike it rich."

But the combination of the wires and different types of fuel at the site renders it a 'a ticking time bomb' according to Suarez, who wants the situation resolved due to the danger that Mr Irwin may pose to himself and others.

She added that she had offered to pay for six months of housing for Mr Irwin, but he had refused.

People took to the comments section to share their views on the story.

Mr Irwin also has an excavator.
Andrea Suarez/We Heart Seattle

One was unsympathetic to Mr Irwin, writing: "So he’s not even in need, just destroying public property."

But others took a different view, with one writing: "On a level you can't blame the guy. Home affordability has been stripped from most Americans.

"Why pay taxes and be contributing member of society when the goal post is constantly being moved further away from you."

While another posted: "The homeless have begun to homestead public lands. As result of the rampant greed amongst real estate investors and county officials."

UNILAD has contacted Seattle City Council for comment.

Topics: News, US News