Students may have noticed tents, barbecues and a variety of other camping objects spread throughout Albion College’s Whitehouse Nature Center, but these are not being used by campers. No, these tents are occupied by the homeless people of Albion, Michigan.
Recently, police have been cracking down on the abandoned buildings and alleyways filled with squatters and roving vagabonds. With nowhere to go during the winter, they turned to the forest.
“The beauty of nature and the life it supports is what calls us into the bosom of the forest,” said Gaff McSerloin, philosophy graduate and current street-liver. “We thrive here in the vast wilderness as it harshly embraces us, yet provides us with food and leafy shelter.”
Students do not seem to know how to deal with this developing predicament.
“I’m scared to do my weekly run in the nature center,” said Philip Uphill, Lincoln Park, Ill. junior. “The tent-livers invite me to their deer barbeques, and it makes me uncomfortable.”
Other students have simply stopped caring and go about their normal lives without the nature center.
“Whatever,” said Sally Finkleberg, Kansas City, Mo. first-year. “There’s lots of trees on campus, right?”
For now, the homeless remain in their tents in the nature center. Police seem to not be bothered at the nomad’s presence, and nobody knows how this will come to an end.
Photo by Peter Walton