Is this installation art or graffiti? An anonymous LA artist who goes by the moniker of Skid Robot has been going around Los Angeles’ skid row areas with a spray can painting creating imaginary homes for the homeless people he finds there, leaving care packages for all of them and talking to the ones he finds awake. His intention? To get people to talk about extreme poverty and help find solutions for it.

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These augmented graffiti artworks, which are documented on his Instagram account, may seem whimsical at first glance, but they also show how harsh homelessness can be to many. On LA’s Skid Row, an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 homeless people make their disposable, makeshift homes right on the streets. It’s graffiti art with a powerful message.

The artist behind Skid Robot agreed to an interview with Bored Panda. Read on for more!

More info: Instagram | Tumblr (h/t: Vice)

When asked what other ways the artist works with the homeless, they explained, “I volunteer my time once a week at a homeless center hosting an art group for a couple of hours trying to convince those who attend that  art truly is the best drug. Which it is, there is no greater high that one can feel then exercising the creative mind.

The artist explained that the care packages contain “snacks, toiletries, water, socks, underwear, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush. We try to provide as much as we can based on donations and what we can afford.
The artist stops to talk to most of the homeless people they meet; “Most conversations are about who they are and where they are from. I ask about what life is like for them on Skid Row and if there is anything I can do to help.
I inquire if  getting sober is something they would like to do, I offer them an invitation to the art group in hopes they show and make an effort to get clean. I mention to them what the overall goal of the project is.

They are for the majority supportive of the project and give me best wishes in succeeding. Its not often I get someone who is overly pessimistic.