422, photojournalism

Tent City, Ann Arbor: Mo’ Life Transitions

Mo re-sets up his tent. He had previously lived in Ann Arbor's tent city for a month before moving into a friend's. He is now back to weather the winter in the camp. Mo is orginally from Montana where he frequently camped out on his family's land. Mo says this weather will prove how much of a Montana boy he is.

Mo just moved back into his tent at the homeless community, Tent City or Camp Take Care in Ann Arbor. "My goal is to make at least five people smile everyday," said Mo the self-defined optimist. He is currently selling community newspapers in downtown Ann Arbor, selling plasma in Ypsilanti and looking into buying an RV trailer with a friend.

Mo's friend and tent city neighbor, Tate, manged to scrounge up a couple sharpies for Mo. Mo is an aspiring tattoo artist, but his portfolio and pens where stolen by his last girlfriend. "This is home to me," he said as he reset up his tent "It's all my stuff that no one will fuck with," stated Mo. "I didn't have a place, so these guys gave me one, so i try to help out (the camp) anytime i can."

Mo, originally David Slater, got his nickname from his uncle who gave him a shirt that said "Mo'Bud" a reference to the fact that Mo always had some pot on him. People would ask is he had 'anymo' bud?'. The name stuck.

Mo holds his favorite book "Go Ask Alice", a book about youth and addiction. "I try to read an hour a day cause it gets you out of your head," said Mo. He was once a drug addict himself, the oldest and black sheep of his family, Mo got into drugs really young and was kicked out of his home at 15.

Mo’ Life Transitions

David Slater, or better known to his friends as Mo, moved back into his tent in a legal homeless tent community in Ann Arbor in late November. Mo, originally from Montana, plans to weather out his first winter in “Camp Take Care.” The camp is a drug and alcohol free encampment allowed by the city of Ann Arbor to take up occupation next to I-94 and US-23.

Mo was kicked out of his home at 15 for using hard drugs. His uncle introduced him to meth at a young age. Mo hasn’t used meth in over 4 years. He is a daily pot smoker though, his name came from a shirt his uncle gave him which said “Mo’Bud”; a reference to the fact that Mo always had some pot on him. People would ask is he had ‘anymo’ bud?’. The name stuck.

Mo has also stayed at a similar tent city in Seattle. Although his life is constantly in transition, Mo always wears a smile on his face. “My goal is to make at least five people smile everyday,” said Mo the self-defined optimist. He is currently selling community newspapers in downtown Ann Arbor, selling plasma in Ypsilanti and looking into buying an RV trailer with a friend.

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photojournalism

Detroit’s hopefull homeless

"You're telling me you can't put people in these abandon buildings, to let them sleep," proclaimed Tony. Tony is a homeless man in downtown Detroit. He used to sleep in a window sill outside of the Old Wayne County building which is also abandoned. UPDATE: Tony is now involved in Occupy Detroit and has since been sleeping in a tent at the occupation and acting as a security guard for the camp site keeping away thieves and drunken troublemakers.

Tony at the abandon playground outside of the Old Wayne County building where he keeps his blankets and belongings.

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Chris S. (right) reenacts a beating Christopher P. took for not giving a homeless man a cigarette, resulting in a black eye and broken ribs. Both Chris's have been homeless in Detroit for 6 months. Christopher arrived at DTW airport from Latin American in just flip flops and shorts and found he was abandon in the city with no way out. Chris, was a victim of domestic abuse, he lost his job and his credit was ruined. Both Chris's are originally from southern California, they found each other in a Detroit shelter and have decided to stick together to make it out of the city alive. UPDATE: Chris&Chris made it on a train to Las Vegas with their bridge cars full. They got out of the cold and harsh Detroit streets. Hopefully soon they will both be back on their feet.

Christopher P. was picked up outside of Cots Shelter, 26 Peterboro Detroit, along with 9 other homeless to hand out Home Land Security information (with Mayor David Bing's image on it) to businesses around Detroit. A church van picks them up and takes them to various locations to be dropped off to hand out flyers. They only get paid $5 an hour, way under the minimum wage. They must carry 80lbs. of paper/magnets to distribute. They walk miles to do so, hitting the pavement for up to 10 hours. The day before this photo was taken, Christopher and Chris were in the van with 9 other homeless guys sitting on milk crates. The van caught fire on the highway and the driver refused to pull over right away, smoke filled the back caged area they were in, the back door locked so they could not escape. Their friend, Q, who has asthma started to suffocate and said it was the scariest moment of his life. "You couldn't see one foot in-front of you the smoke was so thick," said Chris. This is just one of the unfair labor practices and experiences he had to go through.

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