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STORY

Treeman Subways of New York

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN

Lionel Powell, the Treeman, grew up just doors down from Jay-Z in the infamous Marcy Projects Projects in Brooklyn. As a boy surrounded by gangs, drugs and violence, he found refuge in the unconditional love of animals and insects, planting the seeds for his Treeman character and missionAs a man he searched for happiness through religion, family and the performing arts, eventually becoming estranged from his loved ones living homeless and penniless on the streets of Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

VENICE IS HOME

In Venice Lionel escaped with childlike abandon into the creation of original stilt characters with Treeman becoming a beloved public figure. As Treeman’s connection with the community grew, Lionel discovered Treeman’s unique ability to create common ground with strangers, exploring the essence of humanity. Volunteering his time with the public and at events for social change, he survived thanks to the kindness of others who fed and sometimes housed him.

BRIDGE OUT OF HOMELESSNESS

When big tech money and gentrification comes to Venice, still living hand to mouth, Lionel is barely able to survive. Realizing to help others he must first help himself, Lionel enrolls in a variety of Los Angeles Homeless Bridge programs to obtain services, housing and employment. As he attempts to break a 20-year cycle of homelessness, reunite with family and reconcile his past, his new mission is to share his journey so other homeless citizens can benefit from his story.

BACK | FORWARD

Below are a few scenes from our adventures with Treeman, subscribe to our newsletter and explore our website to learn more. To learn about tax deductible donations visit our donate page.

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Treeman Broad City Ilana Glazer and Abbi JacobsonTreeman’s appearance on Broad City season 2 finale with Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson

Treeman and DJ Swamp Skating

Treeman skating with DJ Swamp, what could go wrong?

Treeman on the NYC Subway

Treeman sighting on the subways of New York 

Lady Tree Myriam Ibarra Veloza

Lady Tree Myriam Ibarra Veloza  sings to Treeman

Treeman meets Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the East Village New York City

Treeman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the East Village NYC

Kids Love Trees, Treeman at Marcy Projects

Treeman visits with children in the Marcy Projects on Marcy Day

DAY04hasidichood27x

Treeman visits with Hasidic children in Williamsburg Brooklyn

Lynn-Sky-Treeman

Stilt performer Lyn Sky a and Treeman visit in Orlando

Treeman of Venice Beach in the ForestTreeman visits the forest hidden in plain sight,  Temescal Canyon

Tree2Me Animation Sequence original illustration by Gaby Possible and color by Jennifer Khaibulina

Tree2Me animation sequence original  illustration by Gaby Possible and color by Jennifer Khaibulina