People living in homeless tent city near Ann Arbor being evicted - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

People living in homeless tent city near Ann Arbor being evicted

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Katie is one of the people living at Camp Take Notice near Ann Arbor.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Katie is one of the people living at Camp Take Notice near Ann Arbor. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WJBK) -

It's a long trek through the woods to Camp Take Notice, the homeless tent city near I-94 and M-14 near Ann Arbor.  About 75 people use the MDOT land as a makeshift home, but the state has ordered them all to leave and is putting up an eight foot chain link fence to keep people from coming back.

"I'm spending $60,000 in taxpayer money to put a fence around here.  Seems ridiculous to me when the camp costs nothing for land that they're not going to use for anything else," said Katie, who lives at the camp.

Contrary to what Katie told us Thursday, we spoke MDOT's Jeff Cranson Friday, who confirm the cost of the tent is actually $13,000.

The 30-year-old, who said she moved there after losing her job, is just one of the people being forced out because the state says residents have complained.  Anyone caught at the camp as of Friday could be charged with trespassing.

"We don't bother [anybody].  We don't have a problem with police.  Some people have nowhere to go, and that was the whole point of this camp to have somewhere to go," said David Williams, who also lives there.

MDOT told Fox 2 that, at times, as many as 70 people have lived together at the camp. 33 of the current residents have been placed in shelters already.

The remaining folks will be housed in temporary shelters until a more permanent home can be subsidized.

A group held a demonstration along Wagner Road Thursday asking people to call their state representatives and oppose the eviction.

But they weren't the first to raise a stink about the site. The first protests came from those opposing the camp.

Local homeowners and renters have been complaining for years. They've petitioned multiple times to have them closed down, citing safety and traffic hazard caused when campers cut across I-94 and M-14, which border the camp.

The State Housing Authority does have a program to provide camp residents with vouchers for rent for a year, but we're told only 20-percent actually qualify.

"It's a temporary solution for a long-term problem and ... affordable housing is the issue, and everybody in Michigan should pay attention to that.  Whether you make a lot of money or no money, the issue is you should be able to have housing that you can afford," Katie said.

Another rally is planned for 4:00 p.m. Friday in front of Governor Rick Snyder's gated community.

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