Tent city in Ann Arbor operates through the winter

Jan 6, 2012

Camp Take Notice is a tent community of homeless people living in Ann Arbor.

Freezing temperatures will force many of its residents to find new places to live. But more than a dozen will stay through the winter.

Michigan Radio’s Mercedes Mejia and Meg Cramer visited the camp just before the first snow fall.

You can check out what the camp looks like here:

Camp Take Notice is a place where people are engaged in creating their own community. People who live there say they have more autonomy at the camp than at a traditional shelter.

It's more than a collection of tents, it's a community that functions through sharing, participating, voting, and organization.

But how can an entire camp of people not draw attention to themselves? Brian Durrance, a camp organizer explains that a balance between proximity and distance works for them.

They don't own the land they live on, but because the camp "works," they've been allowed to keep it through an unofficial agreement with Michigan Department of Transportation.

Camp Take Notice isn't anyone's first choice. It's transitional. A place to stay among many lesser options.