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Posted on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

Eviction looms for Camp Take Notice: 'I doubt we'll meet the deadline'

By John Counts

  • Related coverage: Camp Take Notice begins clearing out before midnight eviction
  • Delonis Center to begin housing Camp Take Notice residents tonight
  • State erects 8-foot fence to keep homeless from returning to Camp Take Notice site
  • Passing motorists on Wagner Road in Scio Township did indeed take notice of Camp Take Notice’s impending departure Thursday evening.

    A large gathering of now-former camp residents and supporters lined the shoulder of the road near the camp’s entrance holding signs and clicking drumsticks together. Members of clergy expected to stay at Camp Take Notice past the midnight eviction deadline.

    The rally, which was scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m., was interrupted midway by severe weather. This forced organizers to disassemble the electric sound equipment because of lightning.

    Therefore, there were no speeches to mark the end of the camp, only the good will of supporters and eventually a break in the weather. When the sun came back out, so did the hot dogs and cans of pop donated by local volunteer and church groups.

    The work of clearing out the camp is far from over, though. The protesting itself could continue past the midnight deadline.

    “There are still going to be people coming tonight, and they are going to be staying late, right on up to the eviction time,” said Brian Durrance of MISSION, which stands for Michigan Itinerant Shelter System-Interdependent Out of Necessity, the group that has helped out the camp. “Some may choose to stay overnight.”

    Two members of the clergy Durrance said who might stay at the camp past the deadline out of protest include Rev. Dan Reim of St. Mary’s Student Parish in Ann Arbor and Rev. Ian Twiss of Holy Faith Church in Saline.

    They were not expected to arrive until 10 p.m., he said.

    As of 6 p.m. Thursday, there are still many items at the camp.

    “We’re constantly moving people out,” Durrance said. “I doubt we’ll meet the deadline. It’s just too many people. We’ve had church people working on it for three days.”

    Whatever’s left on the property, the Michigan Department of Transportation, which owns the land, will take and put into storage units, Durrance said.

    It’s a different story for people still on the property after midnight.

    They will be dealt with like any other trespassers, according to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

    They can leave on their own free will, but they can also be forcibly removed.

    “People will be asked to leave the area,” said Derrick Jackson, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “There’s no plan to round people up at midnight.”



    Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

    Clock: Just a minor correction... "The only support that they have are the members of the 19 surrounding churches that give them everything they need to stay there." The 19 churches that support them are nowhere near the camp. They are in Dexter, Chelsea, Webster Township, in other words not in the community of or anywhere near the camp. I'm not trying to nitpick here; I do think that this is an important distinction. You are quite right that the petition contains the signatures of the immediate neighbors and businesses closest to the camp--those who have been most affected by the activity.


    Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

    In one of the picture on Ann it shows Caleb Poirier, the founder of Camp Take Notice, brings out signs to hang on the roadside by the camp before it's formal eviction on June 22. Angela J. Cesere | If you look at the sign it says WE HAVE COMMUNITY SUPPORT Let me tell you people how wrong that statement really is. The only support that they have are the members of the 19 surrounding churches that give them everything they need to stay there. I can tell you this The petition that Mr. DaSilva had with 114 signatures on it were from the Community that wants them out. The real Community is not in support to them staying there but the church community is. So all you people reading this you need to get the real story.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

    If you want to set up a shanty town on someone's elses land without permission you have to expect to get evicted eventually.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

    People who believe it's good to close this camp need to make sure they never handle a firearm, or they'll be confined to a wheelchair after they shoot off both their feet. Now the homeless are everywhere in Ann Arbor, instead of being isolated over off Wagner Road. Did you think these folks were going to disappear?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

    Pssssst - they are ALREADY "everywhere" in Ann Arbor


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

    "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, you do unto me."

    Unusual Suspect

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

    I agree. That's why we think these people should leave the camp and get into better situations.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.

    The rally, which was scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m., was interrupted midway by severe weather. This forced organizers to disassemble the electric sound equipment because of lightning. Maybe that's a sign!

    Odile Haber

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 11:36 a.m.

    As the economy goes down many more people will live on the street. Self help community is the only hope for survival, this one did not cost anything to the cost payers, in fact closing this camp will be expensive. Why not improve it instead so the growing population of people with no home will have a place to stay, for a while. Eventually what we need is low income housing. When time are hard people help each others.


    Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.

    Mr. Odile Haber I have a great idea first let me guess you don't even live in the area right. Then if you want to help them so much I have an idea open your home to them hell even let them sleep in your garage or basement that will work. Hold on a second that means that they will become part of your back yard. GOOD IDEA

    tom swift jr.

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 10:01 a.m.

    I fully believe that posts these kinds of articles, and leaves them open for comment for the sole reason of collecting hits on this web site. Providing a forum that allows this kind of hate is being a party to the comments themselves. By profiting off of these comments, this entity stoops to an even lower level. There ARE disadvantaged in this world, sometimes through no fault of their own, why do we (both as individuals and corporations) feel a need to further their plight through our business model or our words? Lighten up folks, you got what you wanted, this community has been disbanded, the support structure in place there, like it or not, has been destroyed. Turn off your computers and go have a celebration party.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

    I have the right to criticize CTN and it is not hate speech. That is hyperbole and you know it.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 9:52 a.m.

    Ahhh, "compassionate conservatism" on display, in full bloom, in the comments section. I cannot imagine a more vile oxymoron.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

    Yeah, name those "reputable research institutions," if you will. Most of what's out there comes from a book written by a conservative commentator (Arthur C. Brooks, who now heads the American Enterprise Institute) and based on "survey data," suggesting that it's subjective data rather than objective data. Maybe conservatives are more willing to exaggerate their level of giving when answering surveys. Not to mention that if you subtract tithing and other church giving from the equation, the numbers look drastically different. Statistics can be spun in any direction if you try hard enough. Conservatism shows its true colors in politics, and virtually nothing of genuine charitable value has come from the conservative side of the aisle in recent memory. Making the money flow uphill and pretending that it might trickle back down is the opposite of charity.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

    Fjord, I'm curious--have you read any of the reports on charitable giving issued by a number of reputable research institutions over the last few years? They pretty much all show that people who identify themselves as conservatives consistently donate larger percentages of their income to charitable causes than people who identify themselves as liberals. Something to think about before you make your next uncharitable comment about people whose political opinions you don't share...


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 6:38 a.m.

    No CTN supporters have directly answered why they themselves have not stepped in to allow campers to camp at their home or if they've offered lodging for campers with their families. Why is this?

    P. J. Murphy

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 5:38 a.m.

    Every society that ever was, or will be, has a percentage of those who are weak, or sick, or not able to function in a "normal" framework. How this group is treated by those who are more fortunate seems a legimate benchmark for how civilized that society really is. Characterizing the unfortunate as manipulators, or malingerers is an easy out. It allows us to blame the victim, ignore the problem, and go about our lives. It's a gross distortion of course, as anyone whose spent much time with the poor knows. The casual callousness and moral outrage stoked by the CTN saga is a very common reaction. After all, camp dwellers violated rule number one for people in their situation, they chose to be visible. They raised questions about our so called "safety net". And worst of all, they took inititative. Without asking permission, they tried to make a place that was, with all it's limitations and problems, a better place than what they had before. It was probably always inevitable that this camp would be closed. Ann Arbor has hosted "hobo camps" over the years, but they were always relatively secluded and avoided public notice as much as possible. CTN was different but by asking us to "Take Notice" they also insured a predictable counter pressure to disband and disappear. It is worth noting however that their visibility stimulated more than a few citizens, mostly from local churches, to reach out and provide resources and assistance. For anyone interested in this camp, and who would like something more substantial than the political pontificating that has characterized most of the discussions, the documentary at, is really excellent. It's an honest effort to present the camp, and a few residents in a straightforward manner. It's about 20 minutes long, professionally made, and is well worth your time.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 4:55 a.m.

    Did any of you non-supporters of Camp Take Notice ever think maybe some people were meant to live rusticly? They weren't hurning anyone! They should be thanked, not exhausting our resources, respecting the land and community... We should all try to live a little more that way and preserve our country. Any why shouldn't our government help people who are down and out. Why are they down and out isn't the issue, that's life. The issue is living in harmony and caring for others... Gov't spent hundreds of thousands, yes, that is no exaggeration, to ban people from the area and provide a pseudo fix, and insufficient housing alternative to some Wouldn't it have been better to spend that money to support people who are homeless and need assistance, including the so many mental ill who have just been put out on the street. Find a compasionate bone in that fortunate body of yours for crying out loud!


    Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 12:53 a.m.

    Kim open your house to them and let them in if you want to help so much. Like I said you must not leave near the camp thats why it doe not effect you in any way. Let them come into your city block and then lets see what you have to say.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 4:02 a.m.

    By any chance, would this be the same Brian Durrance that authored a 2006 viewpoint regarding "Why students don't attend hash bash?" I found the article to be an interesting read.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 4 a.m.

    It's midnight, get out!!


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

    "I doubt we'll meet the deadline" Yep. And if I doubted I could make deadlines at work, deadlines paying taxes & bills, etc, guess I'd be living there as well. This is the point. CTN people chose to buck rules, buck systems that are in place to help them, chose to defy basic social standards. They had the time to utilized social services, utilize church services, utilize everything that was given to them. It was their CHOICE to sit around and think that this wouldn't happen. I'm sure their days were not filled with attempts to connect with social services. I'm sure they didn't make attempts to clean themselves up enough to be eligible for Delonis. They sat there, waiting for a wave to wash them someplace else. Like I said before, hobos have been around for a long time, and there will always be a sector of people who refuse to participate in their own well being. Stop pretending this is something other than other peoples choices. And stop making the arrogant assumption of chosing FOR THEM.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 3:31 a.m.

    Continue to stand up for what you believe in. Don't let these people shut you up with their play on emotions and fear tactics. Continue to voice your opinion on here and make it clear that their agenda won't work. It's time for these "campers" to move out of an illegal camp and go to the Delonis Center where people are prepared to assist them. Time for this agenda to end and the community to move on.

    Ron Granger

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:50 a.m.

    Wah! Some homeless people are camping on public land! The deadline is midnight! Arrest them! Hit them with clubs! Make them suffer more than they already do! Incinerate any possessions not removed by midnight! Send in the scoops! Turn them into Soylent Green!

    J Shaker

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

    this land is your land this land is my land


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 10:51 a.m.

    Tell that to the Native Americans.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:32 a.m.

    I have to say I can't even finish reading the comments. I'm heartbroken that the majority of comments are generalizing and bashing homeless people. Have any of you ever been homeless? Do any of you understand the socioeconomic and psychological issues that interact with homelessness? I hope you never have to experience it, but I do hope you open your minds and educate yourselves on the underlying causes of chronic homelessness. It's so, so sad to see so many people with such little understanding of such a severe issue.


    Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

    Malorie,I completely agree and you said it better then I tried to.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

    Snark, you're right--gratuitous unkindness to people in bad circumstances is unpleasant & unproductive, and it ought to be discouraged. The polarization of attitudes we're seeing in these comments goes deep, it seems to me, and I suspect that it arises from deep frustration with the current political climate--at both ends of the spectrum.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

    I don't think CTN is a solution, I do think it infringes on people's property rights, and I don't think the camp should be allowed to stay there. And I agree that many people don't do what it takes to pull themselves out of a bad situation. But, like Malorie, I'm repulsed by the hateful attitude of many of the comments here. Some people seem unnaturally excited by dumping on these people who's lives clearly have plenty of problems already (even if those problems are caused by their own shortcomings or by mental illness). This has become a "virtual mob" equipped of digital pitchforks and torches. Nothing good comes from such schadenfreude.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

    Malorie, I've never been homeless (and I'm guessing that you probably haven't been, either, at least in the way that street people are), and I have sympathy for those who are down on their luck. But come on--Camp Take Notice and similar arrangements aren't a real solution. The occupants are going to get older and increasingly less able to endure the rigors of outdoor living, and they're eventually going to need medical care (undoubtedly many of them already need or will need treatment for drug and alcohol problems). It's impractical to for such folks to continue living in tents on public land indefinitely, yet no one want them to die for lack of care. We have social structures in place to provide for the needs of people who can't take care of themselves --and even for those who choose not to, which says something good about America--but these structures can't help people who insist that the help they get must be on their terms. I wouldn't want to live in a homeless shelter, either, so I understand the reluctance some of the camp occupants have exhibited. But isn't the solution for someone who doesn't want to do so to change his or her situation, with the assistance of social workers and programs where they're needed, so that he or she can live with dignity, either independently or in a facility for people genuinely incapable of looking after themselves?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

    Yes, I have been homeless and I am deeply critical of them. So what do you have to say now?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:59 a.m.

    do the church protesters know that all they are doing is helping to protect a well known drug area?? quit the protesting and move on.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

    Is it a well known drug area, Kristan, and tell us how you are sure of this accusation. Did you buy drugs there? Did you see people buying drugs there. Did you use drugs there? How do you know this for sure?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

    Well known drug area? Hardly....


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:32 a.m.

    Ding Ding Ding......We have a winner!


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:51 a.m.

    Another day, another camp take notice article. Y....A....W....N Unless we have billyclubs and tear gas, there isn't much to keep re-hashing, is there?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

    The stereotypes of what it means to be, and why one is homeless abound here. It's really a shame that people speak without any real sense of the reality. I guess that's why they call the comments sections the cesspool of the internet.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

    You're very quick to accuse people of being ignorant and out of touch with reality. Just wondering...have you ever been homeless? I have. So what reality are you speaking of exactly?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:58 a.m.

    "I guess that's why they call the comments sections the cesspool of the internet." You do see the irony here don't you?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

    I think this is nothing more than liberal agenda nonsense designed to tug on the heartstrings of people. Well, I for one, have no sympathy for people that break the law, defy the rules of society, and refuse to cooperate with people that want to help them. These people have a place to go to at the Delonis center, and there is no reason for this. The Delonis Center has a place for them to sleep and proper facilities. They also won't starve at the Delonis Center. Counselors will work to help improve the lives of these people. As I have explained in the past, it is the responsability for these people to take charge of their lives and get the help and services needed so they can become productive members of society again. I they choose to ignore the help available, it is at their own peril. Police should swiftly arrest anyone trespassing on the proprty after 12:01 am, and that includes clergy and church members. If they refuse to respect the law and rules of society, then they too will learn the consequences of their actions. This is not a free-for-all where special exceptions are created for certain people and not for others.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:10 a.m.

    Our society is founded upon justice for all and obeying the law. These people chose to break the law and ignore the rules of society. They are trespassing on land they have no right to camp on, and violating the rights of property owners around. Society doesn't listen to people that break the laws and disregard its rules. When these people can obey the law and learn to follow the rules of society, I'm sure many people, like myself, will be willing to listen to them. Society will not quietly stand by to accomodate people that feel they are above the rules. It is the people making a stand on here that are the true heros. They aren't cowarding to the demands of the church or people trying to promote social change. We are the ones making the stand to support the just society we have always strived for. We refuse to allow our respected and honored systems be held hostage to this type of behavior.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

    Really: how much do you know these people and their plights other than ignoring them on the street. Whether you've "explained it" or not, doesn't mean you know what you're talking about. Speak to people who work with this community and have the courage to actually listen to what they say. Maybe the facts will actually help you see how misguided your position is.

    The Great Gazoo

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

    time for them to get out, get a job and start paying taxes.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.

    With all this talk about people paying their "fair share," I think you have a valid point.

    4 Fingers

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

    I have an idea! Instead of clergy coming here and trespassing, what say they take them to their respective churches and let them squat there.

    martini man

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

    OK all you do-gooder liberals and social change religious folks ... here's your chance to swoop down and take these people into your homes, until the taxpayer rent money can be appropriated. They can cut your grass... babysit your children while you attend protests and rallies, and make sure no one breaks into your homes while you are away. They can eat your food and for God's sake even use your shower. Now THAT would be true compassion which you all seem to be so adamant about . Like one liberal said in another posting ..God Bless the CTN folks. Aint no liberal more liberal than an Ann Arbor liberal.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 5:03 a.m.

    Or, we could just let them live as they choose, and support them. Afterall, they're not depleting our resources and they respect the land and their COMMUNITY! Yes, you clearly no nothing about this organization that has helped so many people and really, how have they hurt you?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:27 a.m.

    You really don't see any other options? Your suggestion is very silly and unrealistic. You must not have thought of how to handle the problem for very long. I guess your answer is euthanasia?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

    Great. You're not from here. Stay out of what we do for those less fortunate.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

    "It's just too many people. We've had church people working on it for three days." This statement just shows there were too many people living at this camp in the first place, especially for sanitation purposes. Unless each camper had enough stuff to fill a two bedroom apartment or something similar.


    Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 10:32 a.m.

    And you clearly know nothing about me to make that assumption. You making comments with no proof to back up your statements or your attack against me!


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 5:11 a.m.

    You clearly know nothing about this situation. Why were ther too many people? BUT there weren't, 70 people on 9 acres is pretty nice. Besides, it's not their fault there are so many of them in their situation. AND they had an organized system for disposing of matter to maintain a clean and safe environment. My first comment: you clearly know nothing about Camp Take Notice....


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

    They have no concept of responsibility, so why would anyone think that they would be able to meet this (or any) deadline?


    Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 2:03 a.m.

    Funny you should say that. I DID quit smoking and I tell people that it's a nasty, filthy habit. What's wrong with that? Only people that never smoked in their lives can lay claim to that? Logic fail.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

    First off I was homeless, and now a good earner of finances. The problem with you is like people who decided to quit smoking. All of a sudden your a specialist and smoking??... Going around and telling people to quit, and snarling at them. You are not a specialist my dear friend, and I doubt you have any kind of real experience with mental disorders. In fact you may have a couple yourself. People are not computers or machines, we are animals, with a fragile brain. Remember the good book said,"not to judge or you will be judged", maybe you might want to open your ears, and close your mouth.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

    Actually, you're all wrong. First, I am not a Republican. Second, I have been homeless, so I think I am completely qualified to make such statments. I was young and irresponsible but the difference was that I re-evaluated my life and I vowed never to put myself in such a situation again. It's not hate or hurtful commentary. I'm calling it like I see it. And seeing as I've probably been closer to it than any of you, you may want to pay attention to what I have to say instead of being so quick to dismiss me.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 3:14 a.m.

    Yes, Earl and Malorie, it's because of rebpublicans By the way Earl, how many of the homeless are you sheltering in your spare bedroom?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

    since it's not about responsibility, by you stating they have" no concept of it", which as a broad statement and may or may not be true....what then is the approach to deal with people who are not functioning, living on the periphery of society. Have you ever contemplated whether some problems and challenges the person faces spiralled and then they developed other problems such as homelessnes......or do you think homelessness is front and center and caused other ensuing problems? For so many to have their summary of the situation in neat little phrases, I wish the same people would elaborate on how they got their conclusions.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

    This comment has me on the verge of tears. How can people be so hateful and cold hearted?


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.

    Ignorance is bliss. Happy man.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 12:01 a.m.

    "I doubt we'll meet the deadline. It's just too many people. We've had church people working on it for three days." Yea its not like they've know for weeks! What a cry baby.

    Tom Todd

    Thu, Jun 21, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

    Reaganomics at it's finest.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 11 a.m.

    Admit it! We are currently being led to become a socialistic society. Many more camps like this will pop up over time as we continue to evolve into a society where the government provides all of our needs. No need to work anymore. We will not need a job, will not be able to own a house, but we will have a camp to live in.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 9:50 a.m.

    Reaganomics created the conditions that led to places like Camp Take Notice. You can try to blame it on Obama, but any objective analysis of the facts shows the damage that Reagan's "trickle down" policies have done to middle and lower classes. George H.W. Bush called it "Voodoonomics," and he was right. When your economic policies disproportionately favor the rich and eliminate tax revenues that used to help the poor, you get homeless encampments. That's how our federal government has worked for most of the past thirty years, and that's why the middle class has gradually eroded. Reagan is to blame for that. If you want to see more places like Camp Take Notice, vote for Romney.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 3:12 a.m.

    Yes, because Carternomics were so successful.

    Unusual Suspect

    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 2:18 a.m.

    A Reagan reference for a story about our local Obamaville? Very anachronistic.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

    Psssst. Obama is president now. You should pick up a newspaper or look at that new fangled interweb Al Gore invented.


    Fri, Jun 22, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.

    I look at the "voter score" and understand just how many people that care little about or understand (or care to understand) others populate this place. It's a sad thing.

    Unusual Suspect

    Thu, Jun 21, 2012 : 11:37 p.m.

    "The protesting itself could continue past the midnight deadline." Oh, no, not that! As far as the deadline and arrests... I believe in an earlier story (I can't keep them straight anymore) that MDOT said they did not have a solid time for when arrests would be made. I'm guessing that means they will hold off as long as they see people making progress toward packing and leaving.