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Posted on Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Homeless camp near I-94 settles into neighborhood west of Ann Arbor

By Heidi Fenton


Residents of Camp Take Notice, a tent community off Wagner Road in Scio Township, gather to talk on a recent afternoon.

Angela Cesere |

Tucked away down a trail leading from a highway overpass at Wagner Road and I-94 just west of Ann Arbor lies an entire community many people drive by each day without a passing thought.

There, hidden among clusters of trees, is the home of Camp Take Notice, a grassroots tent community serving dozens of Washtenaw County's homeless.

It may not be visible from the road, but the camp’s existence has long been a source of worry for neighbors since it relocated to Wagner Road from a location off Ann-Arbor Saline Road two years ago.

Nearby residents say they’ve worried about incidents of vandalism and unfamiliar people trespassing on their property.

But police find themselves caught in the middle: many of those incidents go unreported. And without documented reports from neighbors to back up their worries, authorities are left with the simple recognition that the homeless need a place to go—even beyond the shelters that serve many downtown.

“I’m sure the perception of some neighbors is it brings some sort of elevated danger, said Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Filipiak, who regularly patrols the area and meets with camp leaders to work out problems.

Yet those problems so far haven't touched the neighbors.

“We’ve had no reports of people being followed or children being harassed or anything like that.”

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Camptakenotice.JPG

Tents are clustered together inside Camp Take Notice, a tent community off Wagner Road in Scio Township.

Police response

Filipiak said police responded to a total of 17 calls from January through June known to be directly related to the camp. The largest number of calls in one month—7—came in May. Most of those calls come from concerned citizens driving by that report loads of firewood or water being handed over the overpass guardrail and taken into the woods.

In May, police responded to a single report of five disorderly men fighting inside the camp. Some were in need of hospital treatment. But beyond that day, Filipiak said, the problems have not escalated.

“Most of our incidents are directly related to the camp. It would be crimes committed to each other versus anyone on the outside,” Filipiak said, noting deputies regularly patrol the area on foot to make sure order is maintained.

“They’re a fairly well-managed group down there. They have checks and balances in place to deal with people that are causing problems or doing illegal things.”

Neighbors acknowledge there often is no proof that wandering people and vandalism is directly tied to the camp. Still, they can’t ignore the fact that these situations have grown over the past two years, said Mercedes Miller, who lives on Elizabeth Road, just around the corner from the overpass.

Miller recalled a March day this spring when her 7-month-old daughter awoke just before 3 a.m. and she walked into the kitchen, turned on a light and began to warm up a bottle. A quick glance out a window facing her garage made her stop in place.

“I looked out and saw the door open and a male walking out. He looked like he didn’t have anywhere to go,” Miller, 27, said. “I freaked out. I totally freaked out.”

Miller said she has lived on and off with her parents for 13 years in the Elizabeth Road home and her worries in the last two years have grown. In summer 2010, Miller opened her mailbox and found a pile of what appeared to be animal feces inside, surrounded by cigarette butts. Though she called the police, there was not much that could be done without proof of who may have left the mess behind.


Tents are clustered together inside Camp Take Notice, a tent community off Wagner Road in Scio Township.

Angela Cesere |

In December, Miller’s sister walked outside to find a strange man wandering through the backyard. He told her he had been looking for “a place to relieve himself,” Miller said, and he eventually left the property after she threatened to call the police.

“This street at night is like pitch black. The light at night is from windows or if someone has lights on in the driveway,” she said. “I don’t feel safe in my house.”

Keeping order

Caleb Poirier, a Camp Take Notice leader, says he is well aware of the concerns residents living nearby have with the tent community.

Each Sunday, those at the camp gather to talk and leaders are careful to emphasize those worries to new people who arrive weekly. During the winter, the camp population declines as people staying there in warmer months head inside to shelters or find other places to live.

But it’s during the summer months he knows they have to be more vigilant as the camp’s size grows.

The camp has a leadership board that prides itself in a set of rules designed to keep things in check and make sure day-to-day operations run in an orderly manner. Among a list of self-implemented goals: supporting a shelter system free of drugs, alcohol and violence; discovering the best practice for governing and operating a tent community and aiding camp members as they transition towards healthier, more stable lives.

“Because we have people come in from off the street, they’ll say they’ll come clean once they come into the camp,” Poirier said, explaining an agreement residents make when they enter.

Poirier acknowledges that agreement isn’t always carried out, and in that case, camp leaders will evict residents for breaking the rules. Those people are escorted out with their belongings and taken to a place of their choice away from the camp, he said.

Poirier is quick to explain challenges Camp Take Notice has encountered through the years it has existed in Washtenaw County. Residents were uprooted in 2009 from a previous location behind the park and ride lot at Ann Arbor Saline Road and I-94. The problem: it existed on Michigan Department of Transportation property.

Two MDOT dump trucks were sent to the site as people were forced to pack up their belongings.

The current location off Wagner Road also is on MDOT property, and Mark Geib, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Brighton Transportation Service Center, said it cannot be there forever. He has allowed the camp to remain with an understanding leaders are seeking a permanent place to relocate.

Poirier has repeatedly insisted they are.

“As long as nothing out of the ordinary has been going on, we won’t do anything immediately,” Geib said. “They are going to be out of there at some point, but hopefully, it’s sooner than later.”

A countywide issue

Michigan State Police Trooper Duane Zook patrols the Wagner Road overpass and said there’s a larger challenge to tackle beyond anything associated with Camp Take Notice. Homeless people lingered in the area even before the camp relocated there, and many of those not part of the camp are the ones that struggle with substance abuse and use alcohol, he said.

“It’s definitely a safety risk for the people panhandling on the ramps because we have the issue that if they are high or on some type of narcotic, they’ll be stumbling out into traffic,” he said.

“It’s dangerous for them and for motorists as well. It’s an issue we’re trying to deal with.”

Poirier worries neighbors form misconceptions when considering the idea of a local tent community—mostly, that an encampment will automatically bring safety concerns to the area. But if the homeless are not staying there, he said, they will only scatter elsewhere.

The problem of homelessness won’t go away, he said. The Delonis Shelter in downtown Ann Arbor, for example, has 100 beds available during the winter when churches open their doors to add to its seasonal capacity.

And data from the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County notes that 1,722 single adults experienced homelessness in 2010. Almost 1,500 children received assistance.

“People don’t really appreciate the size of the homeless population because they only get to see it in small pieces,” Poirer said. “Breaking up a large group of homeless people doesn’t mean that that population goes away, it just means that they are surviving on their own.”

“It’s just making apparent something that has been there all along.”

Heidi Fenton covers police and courts for Reach her at or 734-623-4673. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Thu, May 24, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

I feel for these people and I know it is hard times. However they are a safety risk. I drive by the camp over the express way many times a day. At night sometime there are people, obviously intoxicated, wandering in the road and have even tried to jump out in front of my car. The other major concern is where is all the human waste going? Humans make human waste, I am worried there is a biological hazard if this is not being handled properly? In any case simply because this people for the most part are out of sight the city and township, and police are allowing them to do things that would not be allowed if they were more insight of the general public. This isn't right we all have to follow the laws equally homeless or not.


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

I wish I could declare a moratorium on comments from people who do not know any homeless individuals, especially not the residents of this camp. Many of you choose to dehumanize other humans or blame the problems on a newspaper discussion board rather than get your hands a little dirty working to change the reality. The fact is that Camp Take Notice is both unfortunately necessary and very much a place of healing for recovering individuals. The fact is that most upper or middle class Americans are simply scared by the presence of poor Americans. Notice that the "incidents" reported in this article were never connected to any member of this camp (and I can guarantee that the feces prank is not the work of any of these residents). The logic is "There are homeless people here! It must be one of them!"

Chandelle German

Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Marshall Applewhite

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 10:50 p.m.

I hear that California is very welcoming to the homeless. Let's take them on a little &quot;Camp Take Notice&quot; field trip...


Sun, Jul 31, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

Very compassionate.

Chandelle German

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 10:29 p.m.

I am curious to see where people think these human beings SHOULD live? I know NOT in your backyard, NOT where you can see that they exist, NOT in any place that may inconvenience you in any way. How about a constructive discussion that actually could help these people? If I had the resources I would hold out my hand and allow them to live on my land (not that I have ANY) but I would. IF these HUMANS were a relative of yours would you be so unkind? Would you not help them? The only uneasiness I have is during the extreme temperatures....We cannot forget that these are people and just because they don't own Mercedes and own their own home, doesn't mean they don't deserve basic needs like food and shelter that we all take for granted! I just re-read this story and all of its comments and it truly angers me. I wish I was financially sound to help them and I would that is for sure!


Thu, May 24, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.

If the city of Ann Arbor whats to allow them they should build more homeless shelters. The city allows them to stay there so they do not have to deal with it. If the community leaders and local government wanted to help they could raise money and build shelters. They are people you are right, but not dealing with the problem and letting people live out in the woods, is no solution and the township and city should be ashamed of themselves for doing nothing but trying to hide the problem


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

I am a 51 Y/O Camper, and so is my girlfriend. We know what it's like to be scared. Before we came to CTN, we were sleeping under a bridge. There were strangers there constantly...drinking...doing drugs...One night we were awoken buy some punk kids wielding baseball bats in the middle of the night! I you know where your kids are at night? Let me tell you that we feel safe here. I worked for a LOCAL Downtown publishing CO for 15 years.I also lived in a house on Dewey for almost as long. And College brats watering my bushes and puking in my back yard was a normal weekend activity. Often, there were drunken brawls outside my bedroom window at 3 am. Such is LIFE! While we have the occasional Drunks, that we evict as soon as we catch them...Most of us are in our 50s and 60s. Some are Veterans of War. I've applied for well over 100 jobs...No Calls....Guess i need a fake ID huh??? Furthermore... If you people believe that getting rid of CTN will solve your problems..think again. Before CTN moved in to that area...Uncontrolled groups of &quot;Campers&quot; occupied it. According to the Washtenaw Sherrifs they were called on average, 45 times a month, as compared to 3 or less with us there. If you for one second believe that these people will not come are sadly mistaken! Yes...i know what it's like to be scared.. Everyday worrying if the Police are going to evict us from our SAFE place....because of small inconveniences for a handful of better than though A2 citizens.which must have perfect families. No alcoholic Parents or pot smoking teenage kids.....(Who probably left the presents in the mailbox as a form of rebellion!). Yes i'm scared.. The one thing that we have to look forward to... Might be taken away from us.... A safe place to sleep at night... I wonder how some of you CAN sleep at night!!

Chef Skater

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

I have read through a lot of these comments, and my opinion is in the middle. I do not live in the neighborhood, but I drive through this area 3-5 times a week, late at night after I get off of work (from my crappy low paying job, that I am just barely able to keep a roof over my family's head with.) I cannot count how many people, over the last few months, who I have seen hanging out on Wagner Rd., obviously drinking alcohol. I have almost hit 2 different people with my car who were leaning out from the overpass guardrail. They may not tolerate drinking and drug use within the camp, but I can attest that they truly are drinking around it, and causing a public safety issue. Until I actually strike one of these people with my car, it's not really MY problem, but I can sympathize with the people who do live in that neighborhood. Why should they have to be exposed to this on a daily basis? Seriously, move them somewhere away from residential areas, how about the west side of the Arb? I'll leave my politics aside from this conversation, but I really feel that any encouragement for these people, i.e. additional tents and food donations, in my opinion is a terrible idea.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

I think it is important to point out that neighbors of this camp are not lacking compassion for the people residing in Camp Take Notice. My heart is very heavy for people less fortunate than I am. That being said, the reality of the situation is that my sense of safety and privacy has been affected since the camp was moved to Wagner Road. There are constantly people trucking up and down the street disposing of their trash in our yards, hanging on the corner of our road (doing God knows what) and most recently (albeit I left my car unlocked) both the center console and glove compartment of my car wide open and rummaged through. Missing? A manicure set and a change cup....while other more valuable items left behind. It's an uncomfortable feeling. I don't feel that because this camp my sense of security should be impaired. It is easy for people to say that there is nothing wrong with allowing the camp to stay, but I am highly confident that these people do not live nearby and don't have to have to witness it everyday. I am certainly not saying that the residents of Camp Take Notice should not be helped or should be condemned for living, but allowing this camp and providing ALL of the resources with no rules in place is not helping, it is only enabling them to prolong not helping themselves. Many homeless shelters require drug and alcohol screening and have curfews set in place, they hold the residents accountable and this is not going on here, so why would they make any attempt to better themselves. It is a nice thought, but the necessary resources aren't in place to help get people back on their feet.

4 Fingers

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

Blaine - because they *live* in the neighborhood!


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 4:11 p.m.

Why doesn't anyone ever take a look at the 5 to 7 teenagers running around the area? Oh, I see, it's just easier to blame it on the homeless.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 4:01 a.m.

I think I understand the annoyances and insecurity that you are feeling and I appreciate your ability to distinguish it from any lack of compassion. It makes sense that you would not be happy with the things that you describe. I have had to deal with similar circumstances. This article does not describe the occupants of this camp as having ALL the resources, without ANY rules. But, it is also clear that there are not resources there to provide effective help for the deep and serious problems that often accompany homelessness. This camp appears to be more of a &quot;way station&quot;. Although it can be a balancing act, I think it is possible to be respectful and kind - and still make it clear where your line is so you can preserve your own sanity. If there are real problems the police should take action. It's not an easy situation and I don't envy you or the campers.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

Attention MDOT!!! Roll in the Brush Hogs. They look like they have nicer outdoor furniture than I have on my deck. Also the gentleman in the picture looks fairly well fed. What do they do with all the feces? Just some random thoughts. Maybe I'll stop by for Smores tonight.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

The gentlemen in the picture is a good friend of mine. He was a big guy way before he was ever homeless and he wouldn't hurt a fly. The feces are double bagged and thrown in the garbage which is picked up on Sundays.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

The city might reconsider the money it spends on &quot;public art&quot; could be better spent helping those less fortunate or is it that the less fortunate are do not fit the appropriate citizen make-up for Ann Arbor and do not meet the city standards or guidelines. Ann Arbor has staff ready and waiting to go after fence violators, so perhaps some of the city resources could be redirected to help the homeless.

Voice of reason

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

Anyone think that perhaps these people have chosen this lifestyle? Hobo camps have been around forever. A certain segment of society decides to drop off the grid, and live day to day. It's easier (comparatively speaking) than being a responsible, productive, 9-5, 40 hr a week drone. Sorry. It's true. And before y'all gather the wood for my cross, yes, there are people that truly hit the skids (lord knows I could be one, living paycheck to paycheck with no hopes of any retirement.). Be it through mental illness, addictions, whatever. After reading the inane articles about frothing dogs and bats, the woman worried about carnival goldfish, and the Battle of the Old West Side Fence, sometimes I'd like to pack it in, drop off the grid, and live in a tent somewhere. Can you blame others for feeling the same? I'm glad I'm old, the generations younger than me certainly have some strange priorities.


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

Yes, I definitely think quite a few choose the lifestyle. Sometimes not with a clear mental state, but even with a clear mental state free of illness and drugs people may choose it. That's okay. i have no problem with them choosing to do so. And if I have something that I no longer need that can help them out, I will gladly give it to them - the same way I would to those who have a home and need something. The same way people sometimes give me things that will help me out....


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

l feel compassionate. I think I will go to the camp and pass out &quot;Hope&quot; and &quot;Change&quot; Obama tee shirts.

Chandelle German

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Is anyone able to tell me, is there a site that list things that are needed by these people. I know a lot of people in Ann Arbor are compassionate and would like to help out. I know I have air mattresses that I could donate, and other various camping supplies that I no longer use. I am sure there are more of us out there that would like to help rather than help tear these people even more down than they already are. I am ashamed at the comments that almost sound that these people shouldn't be living. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I also love the fact that this is OBAMA's fault when they have had this camp just at another location prior to him coming into office. Please let me know if there is a site or some way to inform the community of things they need.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

yes, you can come down and drop it off, feel free to walk around and meet some of the people down there. They welcome anyone to walk through there in fact they encourage it. All the people on here who have something bad to say about the place don't even know what it is all about. Go down and check it out for yourself they don't bite.

Chandelle German

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Cincodemayo, I agree whole-heartedly nice post. @4fingers, I hardly have enough money to live in Saline or towards Saline, but rather than attack me maybe look within yourself to see why you feel the homeless are beneath you. I am proud that I was raised to care about other human beings and if I can help provide any help to someone else than I will.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

@Chandelle How about you and I go together - these neighbors of yours sound scary. And I mean the ones posting on here. My family member did open their garage (in Ann Arbor) to a homeless person who needed warmth in the winter. No problems. He came and went for years. Sometimes he did work. He had some mental issues that hindered his ability to socialize effectively, but otherwise, not much different than any poster on here (especially not too much different from those on here fortunate enough to be able to afford meds). I do think there are some who are taking advantage of a situation, but I wouldn't let those few stop me from helping those who struggle so ferociously with the challenges that they have within themselves. These are serious issues not easily resolved - even for those who HAVE homes, food and money - so why degrade those with the same human challenges that no longer have these things? It doesn't make sense. You know there are serious underlying issues / illness when standard consequences (like loss of family, homelessness, jail time.) do not have an impact on a person's behavior. Providing basic things like shelter and food to another person is not the same as encouraging them to be lazy or party. (giving $$ not as good an idea) I'm no Andrew Mackie-Mason living with the fruits from the Ivory Tower, but I have deep admiration for those who I know, so much wealthier than I, living in Burns Park and Ann Arbor Hills, that have not lost touch with the reality that others are living in. Those who have an ability to live in such affluence and still be cognizant of the other realities around them. I have seen so many people so far removed, to the point of being oblivious, that I think it odd that anyone would use Andrew's presumably comfortable upbringing against him as he displays an awareness of those with less. You all might not like it, but not everyone is fully capable of changing things no matter how much tough love you throw at them.

4 Fingers

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 12:12 a.m.

Chandelle not far, like what?? towards Saline, perhaps?? you must have some land they can squat on.

Chandelle German

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

@Clock actually I live ON WAGNER ROAD not far at all from the camp.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 8:58 p.m.

First of all I would like to know if you live near this camp site. If not then they don't effect your life and property value. Next if you want to donate any thing to them please open your door or garage and let then move into your back yard and then you tell me how you will feel. I do I live very close to the camp. So go ahead and donate your back yard and let then move in.

Chandelle German

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

4Fingers-Oh ya that is perfect...Sounds like an ideal plan!

4 Fingers

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

Chandelle - just pull onto The Wagner Rd overpass, slam on the brakes, hit your flashers and beep the horn. They'll come up from the camp to gather your donations, as people swerve around you in their cars. Best to do it around 5 p.m. on a weekday.

Chandelle German

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

Blaine how do we get the stuff to them, just go there to drop it off?

Chandelle German

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

Thank you Blaine.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

right now they need tents, bedding, blankets, napkins, paper plates, plastic silverware, water, food, whatever...I'm actually a security member of the camp


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

go to <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> that's there website which is run by MISSION the non-profit organization that help the camp

Chandelle German

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

@nekm1, I am not in the right circumstances myself to offer my home. This is the best I can do to try to help them. I would have NO problem if they lived right next to me or not. I am not scared of the homeless and would have no issues with that. I am not financially sound myself to be able to help support another individual as I have 3 children myself. I just see a lot of upset people who are unwilling to try to help these people. All I can offer these people are things that I no longer use rather than throwing them out.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

Chandelle, rather than always trying to help by &quot;giving stuff&quot;, feeling like you've done something, and then about you offer your home? Or your yard, or your neighboorhood. Being compassionate is not always about saying the right is about DOING the right things....


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

just relocate them all to Miami, the will not suffer in the winter...


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:49 p.m.

Time to move the camp to the U of M campus. Good opportunity for all of those privileged kids and professors to assist those less fortunate. Also, they could use the bathroom facilities, rather than relieve themselves in the woods. And, open the food centers at the dorms for 3 squares a day. Where is the compassion from the U? About time the Lib's did the right thing rather than point fingers at everyone else!


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 2:56 a.m.

Best post I've seen on here about this topic, so true.......


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

right on. Sometimes its good to know who the bloggers are Andy Mackie-Mason links too his own blog on his profile, I suggest reading the about section. &quot;Jeffrey MacKie-Mason (my father and the dean of the University of Michigan School of Information)&quot; from Andy's blog. I wonder how yo would feel if they set up in Burn's Park. Ha, I do not need a lecture from a liberal college student, who grew up with, i am guessing, a liberal college dean as a father in burns park. Who are you representing. You put your blog in your info and it sounds like you just write whatever your professors, or dad put in your head. Its real easy to tell people what to do when you can afford University of Chicago. Maybe you can lobby your father to buy these people a little piece of their own land. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

The issue of illegal camping needs to be addressed by the police, first and foremost. The human waste element is a very real and very serious issue.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

This needs to be cleaned up. The camp is growing as a direct result of the Bush's economic policies that have failed America.

Chef Skater

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

Wow, HaeJee, you are clearly an idiot.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 2:56 a.m.

Bush? The democrats have controlled congress for the last 4 years, two of which he was president. Cherry or grape kool-aid?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

I understand the sympathy for the seriously mentally ill, but the rest of these folks chose to party and get high while the rest of us were going to school and working our butts off. Now they have a change of heart and I'm supposed to HELP THEM? I don't think so. They made their bed, they can sleep in it. But they need to buy their bed just like the rest of us.

True Facts

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 10:50 a.m.

Whats hard to belive if I want guest to stay in my camper, On my own propety the township would not allow it??????

jaimie maveal

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 10:50 a.m.

This is the kind of reporting I like to see from Great job to the reporter and editors.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 7:31 a.m.

Obama's world has already started.

John B.

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

You mean the Koch brothers' world? Sure has...


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

Let's be real about this. Camp Take Notice a place for a bunch of drug addicts to hang out unmolested. I live down the road, and I've been actually stopped by people in the middle of Wagner right in front of the camp entrance waving me (and my family) down looking for a &quot;ride to Ypsi to get drugs.&quot; Seriously. (Gotta love their honesty, though.) Everyone can politicize this thing, but it's a dangerous situation that can only end badly unless they're evicted. People should stop enabling them. There are plenty of safe, drug-free residences around the area for people in transition.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

drugs good; bigoted people against drugs bad...........


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

That has been my exact experience. They just want to party and not get messed with by the police or robbed by other addicts. I will not support that.

4 Fingers

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

Agreed. I'm pretty sure, and someone will tell me if I'm wrong, but shelters will not take in people who appear intoxicated. I guess we can wait until some violent crime takes place down there for something to be done.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:22 a.m.

The County Farm Park used to be where homeless people went before we created the &quot;safety net&quot; of welfare. Why can't the county identify a new area for these people. Make it on a bus route in a place that can be regularly patrolled. Give them seeds for gardens and see what happens.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:55 a.m.

Question --- If something really bad happens as a result of this camp, is the State Of Michigan liable for allowing the camp to exist on it's property ?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:24 a.m.

One story that had been reported on but not followed up on is the Dwayne Dye case. Dye was a homeless veteran who was removed from the camp; the Sheriff's Department later had a lawsuit filed against him in the circuit court indicating that libel proceedings were to be commenced against him for his version of events that were allegedly placed on distributed flyers. The action was assigned to Judge Melinda Morris and the Reach &amp; Reach law firm in Ann Arbor represented the county. Lee Higgins initially covered the story and it was displayed on You Tube by an unknown person. These proceedings were highly controversial as were Dye's allegations - yet the story faded from public view.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

Is there really a law firm called Reach &amp; Reach, lol?

Chester copperpot

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

"I'm sure the perception of some neighbors is it brings some sort of elevated danger, said Washtenaw County Sheriff's Lt. Brian Filipiak, who regularly patrols the area and meets with camp leaders to work out problems. Yet those problems so far haven't touched the neighbors. Oh really? I live a couple hundred yards from this camp and had my brand new patio chairs stolen last fall...The Washtenaw sherriff's department recovered them from the camp, but they were so soiled that they were basically unusable. "Most of our incidents are directly related to the camp. It would be crimes committed to each other versus anyone on the outside," Filipiak said, noting deputies regularly patrol the area on foot to make sure order is maintained. The police informed us that during a recent patrol they had seen newly purchased chairs, my chairs, and wondered where they had come from... After the incident, two representatives from the camp came to my door and apologized for the theft of the chairs, claiming to have kicked out the alleged thief. However they admitted that &quot;he probably just moved his camp across the street&quot; where an 'alternative community' was located. Upon talking with police officers I was told that the sherriff's department could do little about the camp and its residents because it was located on MDOT property...go figure. On top of all this, last week I witnessed what was blatantly a drug exchange in broad daylight at the bus stop on the corner; a guy was pinching weed out of a bag to give to another man without any regard at all... Do I feel less safe in my own home due to camp take notice?----- ABSOLUTELY!


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

It's funny they chose Ann Arbor for their tent city. There is plenty of vacant land around Ypsi and Willow Run.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:51 a.m.

I don't think this story goes back far enough to cover the history of this organization and its organizer. See the Ann Arbor Chronicle article from Sep. 9, 2009 when the Camp was kicked off of private property behind Arborland. The Camp was in existence since the fall of 2008. At the time of the Chronicle article, the group's leaders said they were in negotiations with churches to have land on a rotating basis. The move to MDOT property was just to be temporary. The Michigan Daily covered the Camp on May 16, 2010, and the writer noted that Caleb Poirier brought the tent city idea to Ann Arbor after spending two years at a successfull one in Seattle. A blog called &quot;tent city urbanism&quot; notes that Poirier was eventually hired to be the organizer of the non-profit in Seattle. When he returned to his hometown of Ann Arbor, he invited other homeless to camp with him. I'm curious to know if Mr. Poirier makes any financial gain from this non-profit also. From the &quot;tent city&quot; blog, it's quite notable that Mr. Poirier calls the shots and has made spectacle for the political. Does he work? Has he always lived in the Camp? Would this organization fail to exist if he weren't the driving force?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:06 a.m.

Maybe some of the homeless apologists in this forum can pool their money and buy their clients a port-a-johns.

Chester copperpot

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:19 a.m.

Oh and also I witness public urination on the street on a weekly basis.... Lovely...


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:57 p.m.

I was homeless more than once in my life (so far). I might have a different perspective than some of you.... especially given my degree in sociology. My one comment is this: A lot of your comments are extremely dehumanizing. Please remember we are talking about human beings here. Thank you.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

A degree in sociology? It took you four years to realize there is no job market for sociologists?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

A great photo of the down and out. I see five seemingly healthy people. (You cannot say the obese guy is malnourished). I see modern camping gear, a mountain bike, lounge chairs, and two gas bar bq's. I guess a person can live well while on the dole while claiming victimhood. Why work? As for putting hese people into forsclosed home, let's start with the ones in your neighborhood. Or better yet, how about the ones in Burns Park or the Old West side?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

It sounds like they make do with the local mailboxes.

Hot Sam

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:53 a.m.

In the mean time Gen, don't step behind that tree...:-)


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:30 p.m.

I am sure they have that figured out. In due time, expect Washington to construct bathrooms and showers.

Hot Sam

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

What is not evident are any &quot;sanitary&quot; facilities???


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 9:55 p.m.

I think with a little research you will find that the illegal immigrants in this country are costing us taxpayers more than the war in Iraq and Afgahanistan. So both parties are to blame. Obamas crew wants to give everthing away and spread the wealth remember.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

Actually I believe it's been a lot more than 1 trillion dollars by now.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:47 p.m.

That is a patently false and ridiculous statement. How exactly do &quot;illegals&quot; cost us the more than $1 trillion that Iraq &amp; Afghanistan have cost us thus far? Feel free to point out some facts to back up your drivel. The vast majority of those you disparage come here to work and pay taxes while Iraq and Afghanistan have done nothing for Americans.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

At least illegals come here to work, which is something that cannot be said about the fourth generation great society welfare crowd.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:48 p.m.

Why do the homeless not grow a cash crop of medical marijuana? This is a state that allows it and even law enforcement personnel are now doing so. If people are unwilling to avail themselves of every legal option to provide a living wage, then they should endure the life they have created.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

They should be given first shot at becoming caregivers and be allowed a dispensary. I have to imagine they have more problems than most and there are many on here who say marijuana is not addictive or a gateway drug so they must be right??????????

John B.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Do you have any clue as to how or why homelessness occurs? Any whatsoever?

High Cap. Mag.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

I was told by the Sherrifs dept. when they moved in it wasn't there jurisdiction. So why now all the patrols? What was the real reason they were moved from Ann Arbor Saline Rd.? Maybe just maybe it was because Obama was coming to town! MDOT couldn't get into the old site fast enough with brush hogs to take out the understory so they couldn't move back in, we wouldn't want to give the wrong impression about A2. There not staying long! My wife almost got hit head on trying to avoid someone off loading end tables and a double bed. Where's the Welcome Wagon? I guess its okay to releive one's self in your neighbors yard or leave a gift in the mail box. Where's the Public Health Dept. we have enough poluted water with Pall. Finally thank you Scio Trustee's for nothing.

4 Fingers

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 11:18 a.m.

John B -again your wrong. I watched them move out from A2 Saline rd in May 2010, the wednesday before Obama came to town, and relocate to wagner rd. check your facts.

John B.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

HCM: The camp was moved in mid-2009, a year before Obama came to Ann Arbor. Try again....

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

So your wife tried to pull around a car stopped on the side of the road and didn't do it when there was no oncoming traffic?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

Regrettably, I have had personal experience with the Robert J. Delonis Center, a homeless shelter on W. Huron operated by the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County. What that experience tells me is that Delonis is much ado about not much, all sound and fury signifying nothing. The greatest benefits provided by the shelter are to the staff, many of them with Master's in Social Work or interns fulfilling degree requirements for getting an MSW. Delonis is a substantial five-story building with a budget approaching $2 million and what taxpayers get for it is 35 beds which homeless men can access for not more than 90 days in any 13 month period, and about a dozen beds for women on a separate floor with the same time constraints. In others words, about 25 percent of the floor space in a homeless shelter is actually used to shelter the homeless. Once people are homeless they are in a very deep hole and 90 days is seldom enough time to claw your way out. Certainly the most useful services provided are free lunches and evening meals, but those are provided by Food Gatherers, not by Delonis itself. A medical clinic is available, providing badly needed care facilities and referrals, but it is staffed by professionals from U-M, not by Delonis employees. What's needed to solve homelessness in the Ann Arbor area is the equivalent of a Saturn moon launch vehicle. Delonis is an expensive bottle rocket..


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

Roadman How about we work in providing shelters and food for our own families. Like I said if you want make a sign and go to the camp and post it there. I want to help by providing shelter please come to my house and post your address. There you go that sounds like a good idea right Roadman I think it does and while the homeless start coming into your house don't forget to feed them and then you tell me how long that will last you when it starts coming out of your pocket. GOOD LUCK let me know how it goes.

Seth H.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

Is that an Adirondack chair?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:09 p.m.

This is for CLOWNFISH if you want to help them then you should open your house to them hows that. Thats does not sound like a good idea does it. Let me guess you must live some place were the camp is no where near you thats why you want to help them. So here is my idea for all those that want to help them open your house to them and open your garage to them and let them stay in your back yard. I have another Question for all you people that want to let them stay there can you tell me if any of them have a criminal history like sex offenders or rapist. I all ready know because I spoke to the man that started the camp and he told me he could not answer that. They just keep coming and if we continue to help them they will stay.


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

My family member did open their garage (in Ann Arbor) to a homeless person who needed warmth in the winter. No problems. He came and went for years. Sometimes he did work. He had some mental issues that hindered his ability to socialize effectively, but otherwise, not much different than any poster on here (especially not too much different from those on here fortunate enough to be able to afford meds). I do think there are some who are taking advantage of a situation, but I wouldn't let those few stop me from helping those who struggle so ferociously with the challenges that they have within themselves. These are serious issues not easily resolved - even for those who HAVE homes, food and money - so why degrade those with the same human challenges that no longer have these things? Also, keep in mind only SOME sex offenders must register AN address. First, the offender must be caught. Next they must be charged. Last they must be convicted - and of a crime that requires registering. With money and influence, offenders can often escape any one of these consequences. This kind of danger is more likely in your own home and community because those are the people you leave your kids with.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:38 p.m.

Andrew Mackie-Mason, You live in Chicago, and presumably have had a very sheltered life, because your father is a dean at the U. I find your comments smell of Ivory Tower-ism. Maybe you would have a different take if this camp was in Burns Park, and not the outskirt of town. Please stop deleting my comments for putting context next to someone who has decided to link their blog to their profile. I am not violating a rule on here and still you choose to delete my comments.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

Did you know that before that camp was there it was a completely lawless area. There had always been homeless people down there. Before that camp came the cops were down there every day because of violence and drunkenness. They have brought law amongst the homeless. As soon as they leave the drunk violent ones come back...I hope you have fun with that.

Joe Hood

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:49 a.m.

@Andrew He is MDOT, as we all are in this state. That's why we have laws, for common good. @Susanne A registered sex offender has to report their address. The guy in the suit has reported his address and is listed in the database. The camp has no such rule as it is outside of the law. It is sad that society has failed these people. But when do you decide when to start enforcing the law?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

Yes, they are going to keep coming, and whether or not you help them, they will stay. They have nowhere else to go. If you want them out of &quot;your&quot; backyard, your perfect little world that is separate from the realities of life, then find them another property to live on. Research it, give the information you find to the appropriate people and perhaps the situation will be resolved. If I had a garage, sure I'd let someone stay in it. If I had a backyard I'd do the same thing. I grew up near a park along the Huron river, and was well aware there were small homeless camps all along it. Your argument that some could be sex offenders or rapists is pointless. The same could be said for anyone that is walking along the streets of Ann Arbor wearing a suit and tie and working in the local bank. In fact, those that have come out of our jail systems probably have more money and a better living situation than those in that camp.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Oh, also, is this camp in your house, your garage, or your back yard? Do you own the property they're living on? Are you the MDOT?

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

I also can't say whether or not you have a criminal record. Because, you know, you're happy to attack people so long as you don't have to use your real name.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

Please remember these people at Camp Take Notice are destitute and need the public's help. Let us work in providing shelters and food for these people.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:12 a.m.

Let's begin with you. Next Friday, cash your paycheck (if you work that is) and go to the camp and give your money away. That will be a start.

Stephen Landes

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

Send the A2 Historic District Commission after these folks -- their tents are not appropriate to the type of tents that settlers and Native Americans would have used in that area. They obviously need to go back about two centuries in their tent construction and layout.

Joe Hood

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:42 a.m.

That's not in an historic district. Though they may have the same human waste removal issues there were in the Nineteenth Century.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:29 a.m.

Good point


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:48 p.m.

I have an idea where they can get a split-rail fence.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

4Fingers...I suggest you find out where the people that support them staying there live and send the campers to their neighborhood. Maybe a few sleepless nights for them wondering who is tramping thru their yards and relieving themselves on their lawn might make them sing a different tune.

4 Fingers

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

Blaine- your talking about teens running rampant on public/commercial property; not drinking on the side of the road, getting high in the trees across from the bus stop, and THEN walking down to your camp for a hot meal, and a place to rest. And if you know so much about these teens giving Camp Take Notice a bad rep. do something about it. As far as the homeless living down at that site before, You had maybe two or three people I've seen throughout the years waiting at the bus stop that looked out place. And never was the law called on them. And the end of the day, all I can say is your bad neighbors...


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

The teenagers that sprayed graffiti on the bridge at Wagner and broke the window at Jim Bradly's. They walk around the area at night. was it before they moved in? It is my understanding that the police were called down there all of the time because of violence and drugs. They came down there and brought law. You're just mad because you don't like homeless people.

4 Fingers

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 5:58 p.m.

Blaine- what teenagers??? There's about a dozen houses on the street behind M-14, and its a dead end. The vandalism started about a year ago after the homeless moved in. You must have forgotten about the patio furniture that was stolen AND retrieved from the tent city by the Police. (See Chester Copper Pot). OH, and I love picking up tallboy beer cans up and down the road on Mondays....See they may not be able to drink at the camp, but they can drink after they get off the bus, and before they get to you...


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

How are you so sure that the campers are tramping through peoples yards? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that all of these complaints are coming from one person. It's my understanding that this camp is self governed with their own security and rules. It is also my understanding that their are teenagers in the area.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:29 p.m.

huh7891 - that's so silly - they're already here! All around us. Some more stable than others. If there is a real problem, other than your discomfort, call the police.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

I suppose you've filed reports and have evidence to back up your assertion that this has happened to you, and that the people involved were living in the camp in question?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:42 p.m.

The oil and gas companies make record profits, but Republicans continue to insist that we subsidize them to the tune of millions of taxpayer dollars. Yet we maintain that we don't want to spend our taxpayer dollars to help those down on their luck in our own town get back on their feet. I am ashamed of and disgusted with some of the comments here. When you hard self-righteous people, some of whom call yourselves Christians, find yourselves in hard times I hope the rest of us still find it in ourselves to be charitable to you. &quot;As ye do unto the least of these, so do you unto me.&quot;


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:29 a.m.

They receive the same tax breaks as any other business. And their profits as a percentage of sales are reasonable. You need to complain to your government about exploring for more resources right here instead of sending our energy money to people who hate us.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

There is no taxpayer subsidy to oil companies other than to allow depreciation of capital investments they make that any other company qualifies for on the expenditures they make. For that matter you are allowed to make if you are required to work away from home.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5 p.m.

I would be less concerned about the people who live in this makeshift Hooverville than those who are rejected and still wander the area. While I believe society should offer a safety net to those who are down, I also believe that those who need to fall into the safety net should be asked to follow rules and offer some service to society as well.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

It sounds like these people are doing their best to give back. They're setting rules for their camp, they're establishing a dialogue with police. They can reach people we can't. The question is whether they can ensure help ensure the safety of local residents. I'm disappointed they seemingly weren't able to help with the recent vandalism cases.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

CLOCK: There are plenty of homeless people near where I live. But then again, I don't freak out just because people are different. If you're going to generalize and insinuate that an entire group of people are dangerous/unsavory, at least have the courage to sign your name.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

It sounds like you don't live in the area that the camp is located that is way you are less concerned. Put them in your back yard and then you tell me how you feel then.

Jack Gladney

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 6:35 p.m.

Hooverville? He hasn't been in office for 80 years. Call it what it is: An OBAMAVILLE.

Greg Gunner

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

How dare the poor and unemployed make themselves noticable! With all the money going to Slick Rick's wealthy business cronies, it shouldn't be a surprise that more and more people are homeless and in need. But do the Republicans and the Tea Partiers have to look at the results of their policies? Can't the poor and unemployed be hidden someplace from public view? But the Republicans have a plan, don't they? All the money that has gone to Slick Rick's buddies is being used to provide jobs for these people, correct? The problem should be eliminated in no time, because all the beneficiaries of Slick Rick's policies and the Republican agenda are out there hiring everybody that wants a job. By next month, there will be no unemployment and no poor people spoiling our scenic views. They will be living the good life off their minimum wage job without benefits of any kind.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:25 a.m.

More government spending seems to always be the answer. Can you just continue spending with no limit in your own life? Common sense is all too uncommon anymore.

John B.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

Not getting your point, BB, sorry. Could you elaborate?

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

And the faux progressives want to transfer more wealth to Public school teachers??? Tell me how this helps the poor, even indirectly. All it does is take money away from the very people who are willing to help through charity.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

One &quot;poster&quot; said there are those who live from paycheck to paycheck and are one paycheck away from losing everything. This is so true. I have a realtor friend who can tell you that losing your home shows no boundaries. It is everywhere, and even those in the biggest, nicest homes who could once afford their mortgage, have lost their jobs, their homes are in foreclosure or the threat of, and living in their house as long as they can until they find somewhere to go. Looks are deceiving. Anyone remember the movie Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith? The character he portrayed (and this was a true story) went to work every single day, but no one knew his struggles. He lived in shelters, bathrooms, whatever he had to do, tagging his young son behind him. This story is probably repeated more than we know.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:23 a.m.

Do you have to have a nice home to live and be happy? What's wrong with living in a trailer park?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

Didn't Ann Arbor just build a homeless shelter not more then a year ago much to the angst of its denizens? There are some train cars off M-28 in the UP that are empty. Why not go there? This is a blight that we need to get rid of. Yes, it is sad to be homeless, but my taxes pay for these people to be somewhere. I agree, this does need to be cleaned up. We also need to go back to the 1930's work programs. People back on their feet and working somewhere. Isn't McDonalds hiring?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

The homeless shelter holds 100 beds that are all full. There are 35 people that live in that camp that would not have a bed at the shelter. A lot of homeless people are out of work because of handicaps so in other words they can not get a job anywhere. Some are homeless because of pass felonies so in other words they can not get a job. Do you think that people are homeless because they are just lazy? Who wants to be homeless?? Come on have some common sense.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

I think putting them in hot box cars sounds like a great idea, personally.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

Your tax dollars don't pay for enough places for the homeless to live. And how, exactly, is a mostly-peaceful and drug free camp a blight? Just because they can't afford the nice two story house and fence? Talk about first world're more concerned that these people are causing a problem for *you* than about the hard lives *they* lead.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

A better idea, maybe we can get those train cars moved to Wagner Road, build them some showers and bus them to McDonalds.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

Just wait until all the states can no longer afford to imprison non-violent, drug related offenders. The &quot;drug free&quot; tent city as a social service model should be analyzed further as a low cost alternative to traditional social services which face declining budgets.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

Let them go and you can offer them a place to live. There seems to be a lot of people who talk the talk but won't take a drug addict into their home and help them. That's the governments job, I mean taxpayers job. We have to pay taxes but no strings are attached. Like if you use drugs then you pay for your own housing and lose your bridge card............

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 6:02 p.m.

They can't afford to imprison them now. Of course all of the law-and-order types think this is where we should be spending our money. Compare to liquor and prescription opioids, rarely anyone goes to jail for these unless they commit some additional &quot;violent&quot; crimes.

Roger Roth

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

The last decades of world history show that average people can't depend on their leaders to improve their lives. In fact, mostly they show that people can depend on their leaders to make people's lives worse. Why? Because money and politics are inextricably tied together; those in power have money or access to it and those who have money, including corporations, determine government anti-people agendas. When the &quot;huddled masses&quot; finally recognize the power in their numbers and exercise that power to its fullest extent, homelessness, underfunded schools and a crumbling infrastructure, to name three, will cease to be problems. We need to start by calling leaders out on their constant lying, the biggest of which is, &quot;There's no money!&quot; I'll give them this: The $trillions of middle class money for wars and bailouts is somewhere. How about the S&amp;L bailout with $billions of middle class money? Apparently, the middle class is not too big to fail! I'm listening... (May I respectfully suggest to everyone that we're making a big mistake allowing the wealthy class to define a middle class &quot;American Dream.&quot;)


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

Who's going to call them out? And if they do will it be on &quot;Dancing with the stars&quot; or MTV or comdy central. That's all most people watch anymore. Oh, I forgot about MSNBC; they tell it like it is or how they wish it was.

Dog Guy

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

If Ann Arbor property taxes were doubled, city hall could do something for this homeless problem.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:58 p.m.

Not that they would. The homeless don't contribute to political campaigns.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Thanks, Gloriagirl. The average family household savings in the U.S. is under $500. This means that half of American families are one paycheck away from disaster. A recent economic study indicates that if one excludes non-cash benefits (like the rapidly escalating healthcare costs paid on behalf of employees by businesses and retirement promises that may not be able to be met by bankrupt pension funds) that per capita income in the U.S. has been falling since the year 2000.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

Really - I want you to run for Mayor.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

Thank you, Mr. Ranzini. Anyone who took Kate Warners UM housing class in the late 80's early 90's knows that homelessness is not by choice, many are mentally ill, and many more are families with children. This is not a choice. As an informed and educated community we can only be judged by our weakest links, lending a hand by pulling those down, up. This will be even more common as more baby boomers find themselves too old to be hired, depleating all their retirement and no where to live and no social safety net as politicians cut services because of the housing crash brought on by wall street greed and the derivative market. No tax base means further cuts. Get used to this type of situation because there are no other options for many more coming to the end of their financial resources.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

The politicos have to cut social services because they spent all of the money we all depositied in social security. You give politicians way too much credit. Are you aware of our national deficit and how much each man, woman, and child owes? It's most likely it will never be paid and we are going to default. Oh yeah, the rich are going to fix it by paying more taxes. problem is they only have enough money to pay a miniscule amount of our national debt if they gave every penny they made to the government. Wall street greed combined with government policies mandating easing of lending restrictions caused the housing problem. Get the facts straight my friend....too much kool-aid.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 9:08 p.m.

Read my post farther down. What keeps these people from growing medical marijuana? If members of law enforcement are doing that in Michigan what keeps homeless people from improving their lives? Of course there are people who are growing mm and since this causes them to be nothomeless, they become invisible.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

Some interesting points raised by folks. For example, we have literally thousands of abandoned properties in Flint and Detroit, yet we have hundreds of homeless living under a highway overpass outside of A2? Something simply doesn't add up? I think LOCAL and STATE government is failing the people.


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

I actually like the idea of matching empty homes with the homeless. Especially homeless families that are industrious and could make the most of it. It can be here in Ann Arbor and Ypsi as well as anywhere else.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

Who pays to fix these homes up? A rich uncle?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

Would you like to live in an abandoned (possibly condemned) house in Flint or Detroit which are two of the worst cities in America? It's easy to think that when you're sitting comfortably at home.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

The homeless are racist?

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 11:48 a.m.

No, no hand outs, but I do think that there is an opportunity to fill vacant homes with people who don't have any and to perhaps let them form communities where, at present, none exist. Does that make sense? Communities can be fostered by thinking outside of the box.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

Give them a house? really? How about a car and a job to pay for it all? They need food too and don't forget nice designer shoes. You wouldn't want their self-esteem to be damaged. The banks were practically giving houses away for the last ten years. How did that work out? Giving things to people is wrong and only destroys their desire to work to eat and live. Maybe some medical marijuana would be in order too. Government is NOT the answer, government is the problem. Taking our money (I assume you pay taxes) and giving it away isn't going to fix the problem.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

I agree. Re locate them to Flint and put them in standardized housing. The government pays for everything else, why not relocate? Obama is failing the poor and he needs to realize this. What we also need to do is stop sending money overseas and start using it here at home to help those in need get back on their feet.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Through an introduction from a local Catholic priest, I had breakfast a few weeks ago with Caleb and a lawyer who is helping them. Being a bank president, they were looking for advice from me on ways to acquire land to relocate the camp, and for the special financial services that the residents of the camp need to break the cycle of poverty that they are trapped in. For example, how to save money for a deposit to rent an apartment if you don't have a bank account and no safe place to store valuables? How to save money when the temptation for someone who is just recently becoming clean and sober is there to blow any large amounts of money saved and relapse into drug use? I gave them some ideas and said I'd try to help them. To me, I see some people trying to make the best of a bad circumstance and if you are disturbed by the article, why not offer to help solve their problems with whatever special talents and skills you have so there would in the future be no need for a Camp Take Notice, rather than condemning them for living? Their tent city has the merit of being drug free and safe. It may be one of the most cost efficient social service programs in the area. Do they deserve our anger and fear when the best alternative they have out of many bad options is to live in tents in the woods on MDOT land?


Wed, Jul 13, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Wait, are we talking about the banking industry here?


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

It's never the victims fault is it ellen; that's why they call them victims. There are some that truly need help, there are others who made bad choices at a younger age, had six kids out of wedlock, fried their brain on drugs and alcohol, and now we as taxpayers are expected to clean up the mess.......... And no I am not implying homeless have no morals, I'm implying society has become too permissive and has just about destroyed morality, but they can always count on someone to say it's not your fault and hand them some cash; no personal resposibility anymore that's what I'm implying


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4 p.m.

good for you, Stephen!!! and Mike, are you for real? You're implying that homeless don't have morals nor work ethics. I find that sweeping statement discriminitory and close-minded. Saying that you used to be like that before 'seeing the light' doesn't make your accusations and blaming the victim any less distasteful.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:06 a.m.

Your thoughts and actions are well intentioned and very admirable. To break the cycle of poverty they need a work ethic, freedom from government handouts, a family to grow up in, good teachers, and some hope in the form of God but not the kind Obama has been delivering. A society that is less permissive of drugs and alcohol, and shacking up and having babies out of wedlock (with taxpayers paying for it) with multiple partners. The free ways of the 60's and 70's are now coming home to roost and it will only get worse. I'm guilty of them myself and not just casting stones but have matured and reflected and can see where this has led society. All the money in the world can't fix this only personal responsibility and a good, moral comapss can.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:05 a.m.

Nice post, Stephen. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

Welcome to camp Obama. You might not want to clean it up, more of us may need it. If it's owned by MDOT they should be allowed to stay there. We're buying land with tax dollars to create a &quot;green belt&quot; and those same people say we need to do more for the homeless while kicking them off the state land. Not in my backyard mentality prevails in Ann Arbor; lots of empathetic talk followed by fear of what they say they support. The well to do talkers say they support black causes yet will avaoid black people on the street or in their personal lives. Same with the homeless; we need to help them as long as we can't see them. Hypocrites........


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

Decades ago, just starting out, we had an older family friend who was a successful factory rep. He wore suits every day, had a nice little house, he was a single parent with one school age daughter. The company he worked for went bust. Because of his age, he never got back into his career. We watched helplessly as he deteriorated and finally just disappeared - along with his daughter. That's one aspect of homelessness. Camp Take Notice is one of those places where such people disappear to. Mental problems and addiction strike about 10% of us. The system for supporting these people is scant and is only grudgingly tolerated. We are conditioned from childhood to the &quot;business logic&quot; which says that people unable to support themselves (in our &quot;system&quot;) are not worthy of care and therefore not worthy of living. But, oh no, there's nothing wrong with THIS picture.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Tru2Blu76: This is the first intelligent and humane comment I have read in this stream of vituperative blame-the-victim commentary. Has anyone else mentioned banking bubbles resulting in home foreclosures, health situations resulting in bankruptcy, returning veterans who are unable to work because of PTSD, etc.? Thank you.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

This is illegal. Can I set and obey my own set of rules?


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 1:05 a.m.

Is it illegal? What law are they breaking? Besides, people set and obey their own sets of rules everyday on the expressways. Most of the traffic is still traveling above the posted limit. One set of laws for people wealthy enough to drive and another for the homeless?

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

Out of sight, out of mind.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

Fine by me if you aren't hurting anyone.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

Why is this article tagged &quot;crime?&quot; Are homeless people now considered criminals?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

If they are trespassing.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

They are camping on public land because they made choices to party and get high instead of building an education/work history. They burned every bridge on the way as well. Now they have no resume, no skills, no friends or family, and thus nowhere else to go. I have no sympathy except for the most extreme mental illness cases. Evict them.

peg dash fab

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:30 p.m.

come on, joseph, they are camping on public land because they are homeless and have nowhere else to go. their only crime is being poor.

Joseph Lewis

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

MDOT properties are not considered legal camping places. Thus it is illegal, thus a crime.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

Every time I read a comment about how this camp shouldn't be allowed, I become more and more ashamed of the city I grew up in.


Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

@MichMash Are you trying to help my tents?!


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

Andrew Mackie-Mason, You live in Chicago, and presumably have had a very sheltered life, because your father is a dean at the U. I find your comments smell of Ivory Tower-ism. Maybe you would have a different take if this camp was in Burns Park, and not the outskirt of town. Please stop deleting my comments for putting context next to someone who has decided to link their blog to their profile. I am not violating a rule on here and still you choose to delete my comments.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Right, Andy-- they have money(I.e. a job) hence are likely more stable and responsible. Also, if they do something you don't care for you know where, to locate them. Unlike a just can't pack up and move on to another community to harass.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Cinco...I'll take those tents


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

Hi, Andrew by the way I do live very close to the camp and I'm sorry that you think if I don't use my real name is not right. I have a family to protect hope you understand that. Like I said you must not live close to the camp that is why it doesn't effect you and your willing to help. Put then in your back yard and then you tell me how you feel.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

Well said Andrew. It's a false sense of security. Your close friends and family members are the most likely to cause harm to your children. And the more affluent, the more likely to be able to keep it under cover. Supervision is necessary regardless of the community you live in, or the one that surrounds you.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

Yep. You also don't know who the person walking by in front of your house is, or who you pass in the street, or (odds are) the person living 4 houses down. But they have money, it appears, so they must be good people. Cause that's how it works, right?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

Time to make sure you know where the children are. We don't know who is camping there. Scary.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

They are already here and have been for decades.

4 Fingers

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

@ Cinco de Mayo- keep the tents and food, and pick up some of the homeless people and take them to your neighborhood.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

4fingers, I am *sure* that you mean for allowing the circumstances that help make these situations occur.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

I agree with you Andrew. Wow, a camp. Unfamiliar people in your community. Unfamiliar people who have nowhere close to the luxuries that you have (including, among other things, mental stability). Just like we have to do in the city, if there is an actual problem, call the police. I have some tents and some food that I want to donate. Complain about seeing me on Wagner Rd.

4 Fingers

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

Yeah, me too for allowing this...


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

I remember reading about Hooverville's across the US during the GREAT DEPRESSION. I never thought that I would see the newest version &quot;OBAMAVILLES&quot; during the Obama Depression!


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Despite the ignorance of your statement, the homeless population, including this one, has been around for a long time but it's nice that you can use this to spread lies.

Paul Crosby

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

Perhaps this is a little blip of what the future holds for us. Since the recources on the planet we know of as earth are finite and the population ever increases this is what the future holds. People are just commodities. The value of human life will deminish as population increases. Homeless people are just part of the norm that we chose to ignore. We are sheltered from reality and we hope that events do not shake the bliss that we so enjoy in Ann Arbor.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

This country values people more than any on the planet and will spend itself into oblivion soon without spending cuts and more jobs; even if they're low paying. Once we go bust you will see how little people value human lives. We don't choose to ignore them but there isn't enough money in the United States to pay off our deficit let alone pay for all of the bleeding heart liberal causes. When I hear progressives say we have all kinds of money I wonder about their grasp on reality.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

That's what we need, more people not paying taxes! Who said they could camp there anyway?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

A great example of this "blaming it on the black guy" is that according to a recent poll more Americans think the bank bailouts (TARP) happened under President Obama (47%) than think they happened under President Bush (34%)! To be clear, the bank bailouts happened under Bush. Remember: The economy went to hell in September of 2008 well before President Obama took office. Come on people, work on that attention span! It was the Republicans who screwed this country into the ground and it's the Republicans who have obstructed every attempt by the President and the Democratic congress to fix those problems for purely political reasons (they put this country last — well behind political ambition — time and time again.) Remember: Obama inherited a huge deficit from Bush (largely because of Bush's unfunded tax cuts for the rich and the war in Iraq.) When so called "conservatives" talk about the deficit keep in mind that Dick Cheney said "Reagan proved deficits don't matter" and that George W. Bush turned Clinton's budget surplus into a deficit.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:11 p.m.

Johnnya2, you are correct on one item: &quot;OFFICIAL&quot; and government is dubious at best. Let's split the difference and call it 2 million. I've seen estimates that by that amount, the cost was 278k per job. Give the People credit, they did what was prudent in uncertain times. Businesses played cautious as well, between minimal consumer demand and uncertain government environment (health care, Dodd-Frank etc.). Finally, the stimulus itself was used by many states to keep on plugging into their budgets and &quot;shovel ready&quot; projects that weren't (by the prez's own admission). You are seeing proof of the former in the latest unemployment numbers. Private sector made a small gain last month but with 39k government lay-offs, it was seriously offset.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

The stimulus accounted for between 1.5 million and 3.5 million jobs. That is based on the OFFICIAL governmental scoring system. You may not like it, agree with it, think it cost too much, but it is the only system of measurement the system has. The main problem I have with the stimulus package was the tax breaks it gave. Slightly under 95% of taxpayers received a tax CUT because of it. That is not open to debate. The problem was people saved or paid down personal debt with that extra money instead of spending that had been hoped. So instead of moving the economy it was a net zero effect.. Businesses are hoarding cash and profits. They have no reason to hire more people. Tax rates will not change that. Businesses only hire when there is sufficient demand to require it. Think logically for a moment. I sell 100 widgets and can produce them with 10 employees, and I make $10 per widget. The tax break allows me to $10.30 per widget, but I still sell 100 widgets. Why would I hire another employee to sell the same number of widgets, when I can now make $1030 over $1000. There is zero motivation for hiring.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

&quot;A great example of this &quot;blaming it on the black guy&quot; is that according to a recent poll more Americans think the bank bailouts (TARP) happened under President Obama&quot; Never too early to play the race card. Class act.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Ship, No one said anything about color - except you. The TARP and the Stimulus are two different items. The former was under Bush and continued under Obama. The latter was under Obama. Since he has been in office, he and his party have failed to complete a budget. This was not due to republican blockage, in fact, the dems controlled both houses of congress at the time. The most recent budget Obama submitted was rejected by a vote of 97-0 in the dem controlled Senate. The budget he submitted also ignored the results of his own deficit commission.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

I agree with most of what you wrote here, but now President Obama is *also* calling for austerity. Read that NYT editorial I posted as a reply to my comment. I'm with anyone who's trying to fix our unemployment crisis, but austerity is 180 degrees in the wrong direction. The President is now asking to be part of the problem.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

Sure it started under Pres. Bush, but at this point Pres. Obama has been in office for 2 1/2 years. He's also now parroting some of the &quot;confidence&quot; nonsense that the austerians are using. And when they did the stimulus, the administration claimed it would do the job. At what point does it become the President's problem? The problem is that people aren't spending enough for businesses to hire. The only missing &quot;confidence&quot; is the confidence that they'll have increasing revenue. Cutting government spending, known to the rest of the economy as &quot;sales&quot;, is just going to depress private sales further. But that's what the President is now calling for. That's very Hooverish. We called them Hoovervilles before. What will we call them when they get bigger in 2012?

Joe Hood

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:10 a.m.

@KJM: The big changes are in the offing with the big health care law enacted (a.k.a. Obamacare). The law, unread before being voted upon completely changed the landscape. Add that to the bailouts, it's hard to tell which way is up. How does one plan on the future when everything has been turned on its head. It's a wait and see attitude which bodes poorly for jobs. People need to feel secure and as long as there is no one giving those Fireside Chats, we're left waiting.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:41 a.m.

Joe, so you think &quot;businesses are freaking out&quot; over something possibly coming two years from now? But all the business surveys say they're freaking out now over lack of sales. We're supposed to believe the lack of hiring now is over a possible tax change in 2013??? And how come I haven't read a word about this big tax change in two years? Sorry, I really don't buy that as an explanation. Murrow' Ghost - yeah, tonight we're gonna party like it's 1937!

Joe Hood

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:26 a.m.

@Ghost, we're $15 Trillion in the hole. We need a better Plan. @KJM Businesses are freaking out over the big changes coming in 2013 when the big tax hit comes. Let businesses forecast how much money they might have in a year or two and they will grow and even hire. Until that big unknown hits, expect the same.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

Don't worry, KJM. It will all get better when government spending gets cut another $2-4 Trillion while no new taxes are enacted. It'll be just like . . . . . MAGIC!!! Good Night and Goof Luck


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

BTW, today's New York Times editorial says much of the same thing: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:01 p.m.

The Homeless police will eventually take care of 'em. Out- of- town, out-of-mind

Will Warner

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

&quot;The camp is growing as a direct result of the Obama economic policies that have failed America.&quot; &quot;I believe it was the bush admin that started our economic downfall obama just inherited this mess regardless its sad to see&quot; You're both wrong. Any idiot knows that these problems can be laid at the feet of that fascist John Adams and derive DIRECTLY from his vile Alien and Sedition acts of 1798. And his son was even worse!

John B.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:37 p.m.

..and she is not part of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, to my knowledge.

John B.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

That would be Michelle Bachmann, btw...

David Briegel

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:55 p.m.

But Michelle said his son worked to free the slaves!

Elaine F. Owsley

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Cheers to Heidi for a really well written story.

John B.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:36 p.m.



Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

You can whine and moan or you can help them.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

OR... They could help themselves. Radical thought in AA

peg dash fab

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

interesting approach, davidian: the beatings will continue until morale improves.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:49 p.m.

Yes. I can help them by getting them evicted and hopefully forcing them to take responsibility over their lives.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Noblesse oblige?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

The Delonis shelter has 100 beds available in the they not have beds available now? Does our community have space for them in other shelters?

Will Warner

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

I wonder if these people have hit upon a solution to their problems that has some long-term value. It sounds as if they have a little commune going, with what looks like a dinning/meeting hall (tent) including a real stove. They seem to have some organization and self-regulation, and with it they might be able to avoid the problems of hobo jungles (primarily lawlessness). Obviously the trespassing is a problem so maybe the city or state can find them a place to do this legally. I knew many people in Alaska who voluntarily live outdoors to save money.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

Most of the land anywhere close to civilization (we do want people looking for jobs, do we not?) is owned by someone or other. Unless you're supporting a bill to raise taxes and provide pockets of open land for the homeless to live in, deal with it. Publicly owned land that isn't being used for another purpose should be, well, open to the public.

4 Fingers

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

Yeah Whatever Caleb- All the neighbors around this camp were sent a letter last fall assuring everyone to remain calm through the winter, that this camp was temporary, and that they secured land somewhere and would be gone this past spring. None of this has happened, and I see more people out there everyday. In fact, they were relocated here last spring when Obama came to town for UM commencement because The I-94/A2 Saline rd interchange was too close for comfort for secret service detail. They brought a few U-hauls and Vans, rounded them up and dumped them on Wagner rd. Everyday or so you see cars dead stopped on the Wagner rd overpass, flashers on, dropping off provisions and halting traffic. Or we as neighbors get Strangers parking their cars on our streets in front of our houses walking down to the camp for who knows what. But hey, who am I to complain??? I guess as long as their here there not in YOUR backyard.

4 Fingers

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 11:07 a.m.

John A2 - wrong, they were moved across 1-94 to the southern east corner in 2009 from the other side by the carpool lot, then moved out to wagner rd last year. look it up.

John B.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

Wrong, 4F. They were moved out of the Saline/A2 Road camp in mid-2009. Try again!


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

Be glad people are helping them. Otherwise, they just might be venturing into your backyard out of desperation. The &quot;strangers&quot; parking their cars seem to be good people, charitable people by your account. You are afraid of them too? By the way, public streets and sidewalks are public - the strangers aren't doing anything illegal there.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

I might suggest you head down to Cabelas or any outdoor hunting supply store to purchase a trail cam. They mount onto trees and buildings and take motion activated photos/video. It seems that some photo evidence of these tresspassing violations might be your best defense. Who knows, a warrant or two might be found in that crowd as well. Good Luck!

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

They're not in your backyard. They're not on your property.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

Who owns the land they are illegally squatting on? If it is Washtenaw County or the city, then the taxpayers have the right to demand that it not be used as an illegal campground. I mean, if the city can waste time and taxpayer dollars punishing a homeowner for putting up a fence, surely they can enforce the law on illegal tresspass.

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

And once the government owns all the land in the world, where are these people supposed to go? We can't divvy up the entire state into public and private ownership and then get upset when people without homes live on public land. They have the right to live somewhere without paying the high costs to buy land on their own.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

I believe the article states the land belongs to MDOT. So why don't we call our beloved governor. Oh wait, we can't he too busy taxing our pensions so that maybe some of our local retirees will end up there.

John A2

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

We need to get it together or we all can be in a camp. The Reality of it all, the HORROR, the Horror.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

80,000 abandoned homes in Detroit and they can't find a &quot;permanent place to relocate&quot;? I would not look this week, it's rather warm. And next week is Art Fair, you'll probably be busy. August? Well, busy working on your pre-school begging. And fall is right out - wouldn't want to miss the football crowds. Maybe next spring you'll look for a &quot;permanent place to relocate&quot;? But spring is so pretty in the trees.....

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

It is. That doesn't mean it should be. Merely that your proposed &quot;solution&quot; is actually no solution at all, and you've captured the extreme difficulty caused by the fact that we now divvy every single bit of land up into ownership. There *is* nowhere for people like this to go, so we need to allow them to use public land. Why not? The land isn't being used for anything else.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

Why yes, Mr. MacKie-Mason, squatting IS illegal on both public and private property. Good point!

Andrew MacKie-Mason

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Yeah, because living in Detroit is so safe. And there's absolutely nothing illegal about living in abandoned buildings. I'm sure your 'plan' will go great.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

OH NOT TO WORRY, Ann Arbor will take care of them.

steve reynolds

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:34 a.m.

i believe it was the bush admin that started our economic downfall obama just inherited this mess regardless its sad to see

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:28 p.m.

That's always how it goes, Democrats fix things and Republicans destroy the progress. Typical.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:29 p.m.

Ye,s the removal of solar panels from the white house is the source of all our problems. What rubbish. No one has proven that wind, solar, or any other alternative energy can replace fossil fuels on a mass scale. To portray it as a proven commodity is to engage in deceptive behavior like corporations do. Our economy is the way it is because of left and right wing policies. We have created a nation dependent on oil and government, a nation guided by imperialistic and socialist principles. We aid and abet corrupt corporations and unions. We permit corporations to skirt tax laws and the creative lazy to skirt working. In short, liberal and conservative policies have made the mess that is the United States of America. Why anyone would admit to being liberal or conservative is a mystery. They both have done their fair share in fouling things up.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

I agree with you 100% on that steve reynolds. Plus,it does not help that Michigan was already in a recession before the national great recession(Thank you Mr. Bush and the shady banks for this) happened which made it worse in Michigan


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:02 p.m.

Of all the past presidents to blame, Jimmy Carter would NOT be the one. He tried to engage the nation in actions to break our oil dependency and has spent his time post-presidency being a huge part of Habitat for Humanity - helping people become homeowners in modest homes that provide what they need. Reagan came right in and reversed many of Carter's efforts, including the removal of solar panels from the White House roof. Really? What could that possibly have signified except a renewed collaboration with oil and the Middle East.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

No Steve, it's a two party system that has been compromised by entrenched lobbies stretching back generations- and getting worse. &quot;Follow the money&quot; a quote that rings clearly as the &quot;military-industrial complex&quot; and other cries in the political darkness. Less government is better government- except to those whose sense of entitlement causes them to forsake their real liberties for a fix of socialistic heroin. Watch Greece as a microcosm of what may become us.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

NO it was Jimmy Carter.

Chip Reed

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:16 a.m.

That darn underclass... Well, it's either better pep talks or soviet-style work camps. At least they didn't build a split-rail fence.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

This needs to be cleaned up. The camp is growing as a direct result of the Obama economic policies that have failed America.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

Keep in mind the homeless came before Obama and the previous 8 years there was nothing done to help them.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

That's gotta be one of the most naive analysis I've ever seen.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

Obama's trying to dig us out of the hole that thirty years of Reaganomics have put us in. Granted, he's not doing that great of a job, but if a Republican were in the White House right now we'd be even worse off.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

Obama? Are you sure you don't mean George W. Bush?

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

InsideTheHall, you've always reached for the stars, but this really takes the cake. Next, you'll blame women for taking American jobs! Please, please think before you write.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

Nice work ITH, with only one cast, you caught at least 11 large mouth (bass?)...!

Michigan Man

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

InsideTheHall has got it right. Very simple to connect the dots - Ann Arbor types need to follow the keep it simple stupid (KISS ) approach. To all of those who seem to support the tent city - would you be honored if the tent city were in your back yard - or would you revert to the NIBY (Not in My Back Yard) mentality?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Everyone who upvotes this comment, is one of the people who is ruining the future of the USA...why dont you old, disenfranchised people pull your heads out of your rear's, and be constructive instead of raciest?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:04 p.m.

Elaine it is hard to take someone serious that can't spell Bush!


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:02 p.m.

Nothing like a DB liberal. They love helping the homeless ---as long as they're not in their back yard. I would assume a A2 DB liberal would say: &quot;it's unfortunate that society has allowed people to live in such poverty for it's societies fault these scum bags are so poor. We should help them by giving them lots of free money (because that's why their poor, not enough free money) and a buss ticket to Saline (because liberals don't actually want to see the problem or live with the consequences of their 'generosity').&quot;

Elaine F. Owsley

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Get real. This kind of settlement has been around for years - yes, even during the Busch administration.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

This is one of the silliest comments I've encountered. Carl Rove showed the way - if you repeat misinformation enough times, some people will begin to believe it. December 1, 2008: &quot;The National Bureau of Economic Research said Monday that the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007, making official what most Americans have already believed about the state of the economy. The NBER is a private group of leading economists charged with dating the start and end of economic downturns.&quot; (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. As I recall, Obama wasn't President in 2007, so I wonder whose economic policies failed?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

Well....if we are going to attack Obama, at least let us do so on the numerous things he can be held accountable for. As to the homeless issue, why don't you ask yourself WHY these people are without a home. Is it because they refuse to get a job? What jobs exist for these people to work that will pay enough to support them? We have tried trickle-down economics for years now with the tax cuts to the rich. How is that working out exactly? I am not at all happy that we are taxing seniors and the middle class in Michigan to provide tax cuts that do nothing but line the pockets of a few select businesses while I have to put up with the homeless in my backyard. I would be HAPPY to pay over the taxes I will now have to pay to Snderantics to help these people. I don't feel happy about having to support the oil and gas industries and his chosen businesses who will simply add more wealth to those who have more than enough while the rest of us suffer. And, I might add that unlike Jack Welsh, he isn't intelligent about it. So, a lot of the dollars are wasted. You are entitled to your opinion. I respect it. But, I have trouble following it. Care to share the connection between Obama policies and the homeless in my backyard? As to Snyder's record, here in Michigan and close to home, how many jobs has he created since he took office. How many has he eliminated? A &quot;fair&quot; chance to work and make a contribution may be what these people need. This is what Snyder should be working on. Instead, he makes it possible for EFM to take over cities and sell off their public parks to develop golf courses for the rich.....while $186M is available from the sale of oil and gas rights on State lands to support acquisition of lands for state parks. When it becomes apparent that someone isn't going to do what they said they were going to do, how long do we give them to work his plan?d


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

Having a hard time following the logic of the connection between Obama and the homeless in my backyard.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:57 a.m.

Bush who??? How fast the haters forget.

tom swift jr.

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

Really?? could you cite the study that states that? I suspect not.

Jim Nazium

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 11:25 a.m.

Don't you mean &quot;Reaganomics?&quot;