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Fri May 25, 2012
Supporters of a tent city near Ann Arbor fear eviction
About 70 people took part in a rally to show support for a tent city near Ann Arbor.
It's called "Camp Take Notice," and it's been on state-owned land for more than two years. The 65 people who live there are worried their days there are numbered.
David Williams has been staying at the camp for a year. "If we lose this camp it would be difficult for me to find another safe environment to live. And I hope that people understand that. Anyone can be homeless. Homelessness is not prejudice," he said.
Organizers want a commitment from the state to allow people to continue living at the site. But one neighbor, who asked not to be named, said he'd like to see the camp gone.
"There have been reports of stolen property down there. You don't necessarily feel comfortable being outside or outside alone towards the evening. And like I said, they are not bad people, that's not the problem. It's the element that goes along with it," the neighbor said.
Jeff Cranson, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation said the state has been working with the camp's organizers for a couple of years. He said there are no immediate eviction plans, but that the tent city is not safe and residents will need to relocate. Cranson said a fire broke out a few months ago and emergency crews had difficultly getting water to the site.
He said another state agency is working to find alternative housing for the camp's residents.
Michigan Radio visited the camp in the fall of 2011.