"It's big for the amount of resources that we have in this town, because we try to gear our resources toward winter months, when the cold causes deaths," says Sandi Flores, who supervises Wood's efforts to reach those camped in the forest. "So that influx in the summer really taps into resources that we're trying to reserve for the population that can't migrate."

The problem is finding places to put people. Since shelter beds are scarce and temperatures are mild in summer, that's usually the woods outside of town. Problems arise if the monsoons don't come early enough. Campfires and charcoal grills were banned in the national forest back in April, as they are almost every summer. However, if the risk of a fire gets worse, park rangers will close the entire forest to the public — mountain bikers and hobos alike.

"These [hobos] are very educated on the rules of the forest — where they can camp, where they can't camp — and we try to help them avoid police contact," she says. "When they close the forest, there's nowhere for people to go."

Richard Andreassen is autistic and worked as a machinist until a severe arm injury made that career impossible. He's originally from New York but moved west with his mother.
Jamie Peachey
Richard Andreassen is autistic and worked as a machinist until a severe arm injury made that career impossible. He's originally from New York but moved west with his mother.
When Andreassen's mother entered a nursing home, she and his doctor agreed the best place for her son to live would be the truck and trailer he used for his astronomy hobby.
Jamie Peachey
When Andreassen's mother entered a nursing home, she and his doctor agreed the best place for her son to live would be the truck and trailer he used for his astronomy hobby.

Flores would prefer that the forest stay open as long as possible — though incidents like last summer's Hardy fire, started by the aforementioned homeless man, make this hard. The Wallow fire, which raged across 841 miles of forest near the New Mexico border last month, was human-caused, which probably didn't help matters. The homeless make easy scapegoats, but it's usually not their fault.

"We deal with this population on a daily basis, and they're some of the best campers out there. Every time there's a fire, it's very quick and easy to say, 'Oh, it's some homeless guy out there,' and that's typically not the case," she says.

While Flagstaff might be inundated with homeless, those running metro Phoenix shelters say they're still plenty busy during the summer. Despite rumors rampant in Flagstaff, Valley shelters aren't buying homeless people Greyhound tickets, says Irene Agustin of Central Arizona Shelter Services, which takes in 1,000 people a night, adding overflow beds when there's an excessive heat warning.

"I'm sure from the Flagstaff standpoint [the migration of the homeless from metro Phoenix is] apparent," she says. "But the demand for our shelter services here still is high in the summer. We're not busing anyone up to Flagstaff. We really have a large population we're serving here, and all our efforts [go toward] helping them end their homelessness."

Not all of them want to be helped, though. And some of them probably shouldn't be — they're doing just fine where they are.


Chances are you'd never see Richard Andreassen's home from the road. Not unless you kept your eyes fixed on the tree line during the hour-long drive along the two-lane highway running from Flagstaff to the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

There's an even slimmer prospect of stumbling across it by driving down the rutted dirt service road into the forest that serves as his driveway. But here it is, a red Dodge pickup packed up to the sagging roof liner, pulling an old, yellow camp trailer, with glossy photos of black skies and bright stars taped to its walls and milk crates of equipment hanging off its sides.

Andreassen is neatly groomed with clear blue eyes, wearing a white T-shirt and camouflage pants. He's all smiles as Richard Brust, a Catholic Charities worker who has come to check on him, pulls up.

Partly, he's happy to see a fresh bag of ice and some fried chicken from the grocery store. But he's also looking forward to showing off the homemade telescopes he uses to photograph the night sky.

Andreassen's camp sits on the shady edge of a sparse meadow of cinders, grass, and pine trees with trunks scorched black by some long-forgotten fire.

The autistic 54-year-old worked as a machinist for a military contractor before suffering severe damage to his rotator cuff and going on disability. He's originally from Long Island — the accent evident in his loud, choppy cadence — but made his way west with his mother in the 1990s. When she suffered a stroke and had to go to a nursing home, he was left to fend for himself.

Before she died last year, his mother and the family doctor agreed that the truck and trailer Andreassen used to haul his telescope and camping gear would be the best place for him to stay full time. So Andreassen drove out into the forest to live alone with his telescopes. The thing that keeps him going, he says, is his astronomy hobby, and this barren field is the perfect place for that. Catholic Charities classifies him as homeless, but it's not a term he'd self-apply.

"I want to live in here because I don't like nasty neighbors, drugs, and apartment living," he says. "Homeless? No, I've seen people a lot worse. I get a lot a dopies in town that bug the hell out of me for money."

Rangers sometimes see things differently. Technically, Andreassen is allowed to camp pretty much anywhere in the forest so long as he moves his rig every two weeks per forest service rules, though that's an annoyance for him when his intricate astronomy equipment is assembled.

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7 comments
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

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Skrapps
Skrapps

Good. Good to have some Cizmar every now and again. To ammend, those citizen patrols and night flights this year were in response to current fire conditions and almost daily hobo-camp-started wildfires. Just little ones, but they all have potential to ruin the lives of many people.

 
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