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 mission. As 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. Struggling with his sanity Lionel escaped with childlike abandon into the creation of original stilt characters, with Treeman becoming a beloved public figure in Venice.
VENICE IS HOME
As Treeman’s connection with the community grows, Lionel discovers he has a unique ability to create common ground with strangers, uncovering the essence of humanity. His life becomes a social experiment, volunteering his time with the public and at events for social change, in turn surviving thanks to the kindness of others who feed and sometimes house him. As we explore human nature and volunteerism with Treeman, his notoriety begins to grow making appearances at schools around the nation and performing in national commercials, reality tv, episodic comedy and more.
BRIDGE OUT OF HOMELESSNESS
But when big tech money and gentrification come to Venice, Lionel is still living hand to mouth and barely able to survive. Finally, 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, Lionel’s dream is to lead the way so other homeless citizens can benefit from his story. .
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Treeman skating with DJ Swamp, what could go wrong?
Treeman sighting on the subways of New York
Lady Tree Myriam Ibarra Veloza sings to Treeman
Treeman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the East Village NYC
Treeman visits with children in the Marcy Projects on Marcy Day
Stilt performer Lyn Sky a and Treeman visit in Orlando
Treeman visits the forest hidden in plain sight, Temescal Canyon