"I told the ranger — they got a little nippy, they don't want people living in the forest — I told them I don't live up here . . . I stay up here until November, until it gets very cold, then I leave," he says. "They tried to chase me, and I showed them all the astronomy stuff I've got, and the one ranger said, 'Oh, we can't prove you're living in the forest, but we're going to keep an eye on you,' and I said, 'Oh, you're welcome to check me if you want.'"

In late autumn, Andreassen will head south, stopping by a friend's house in Camp Verde for a week around the holiday, before motoring down to Glendale, where he is allowed to park his rig on a patch of private land behind his doctor's office.

"I told the rangers about my plans, and one of them said, 'Well, if you got private land, go back to Glendale,' and I said, 'I can't. I get very sick in the heat,' and they left. They chased off this other guy — dirty-looking with a beard. He was a veteran; he was living out of his car. They are a little unfair when you think about it. They chase him, but not me."

New Times drove to several places in search of a campsite. We found only abandoned sites. As one Catholic Charities fieldworker told us, "If someone doesn't want to be found, they're not going to be found."
New Times drove to several places in search of a campsite. We found only abandoned sites. As one Catholic Charities fieldworker told us, "If someone doesn't want to be found, they're not going to be found."

Andreassen is, by the looks of it, a good citizen of the forest. His trash is stowed neatly in bags hung from a tree 20 yards behind his trailer, and there's no fire pit at his campsite, because fires are banned in the forest this summer. Not all transient campsites follow Boy Scout standards — which is, aside from the fires, the biggest problem Flagstaff has with the interlopers.

Flagstaff police Sergeant James Jackson says he has come across a number of abandoned camps over the years that look more like landfills. Walking through the woods just east of town, Jackson shakes his head as he stares at a massive trash pile that sits in the center of an infamous homeless camp. Sweatshirts, shoes, cereal boxes, a stereo, and a Phoenix Public Library card all are part of the epic heap. Jackson estimates that Flagstaff police have chased hundreds of people out of this little patch of woods — which is why he enjoys showing it to anyone who asks about the city's homelessness problem.

This camp at one point grew so big that the cops called it "Tent City," and they've worked hard at depopulating it, he says.

But the homeless, including the hobos coming in for the summer, just go elsewhere. Jackson figures that by the end of this month, there could be a couple of thousand homeless people camping in the woods around town.

He maintains that this doesn't bother most citizens of Flagstaff. Not in principle. Most of the calls the department gets from Flagstaff citizens are about trash, he says, not complaints about people down on their luck and sleeping somewhere they shouldn't.

Yet this squalor sits not even 100 yards off an urban trail, less than a mile from million-dollar homes and an elementary school.

"With these transient camps that you see comes fire danger, but they also come with a lot of trash," he says. "There are kids riding their bikes on the trail, a lot of law-abiding citizens out here, and if they get off the beaten path, you never know who [they're] going to run into out here."

Still, Jackson — who confides that he moved to Flag from South Phoenix to escape the hustle of the big city — says he joins his neighbors in having more pity than dislike for the homeless encamped in this area:

"This is just their lifestyle, and you don't want to trample on that and force them to change it. They're the ones who have to live out there; we don't. But it's a terrible way to live. It's not easy, I can tell you that."

Not everyone agrees with his assessment — certainly not the folks who sleep out here by choice.


Most people would consider Jerome Gunderson's path back into society a success story.

After several years of homelessness, he landed at the Royal Inn, a hotel on Flagstaff's rough east end that, like a lot of flophouse hotels, serves as a stepping stone for people on their way up or down in society. Gunderson works the desk full time at the hotel, which runs programs to help the homeless, acts as an emergency shelter, provides rides to the store and government offices, and helps with résumés.

But Gunderson, 69, greatly preferred living out of his car, traveling through warm spots like El Paso, Texas, and Safford, Arizona, in the winter and up to Flagstaff in the summer. Gunderson retired as a salesman at age 62, then headed west from his home in Elgin, Illinois, on what he calls his "odyssey." He managed to spend four years living in the forest until a blood clot forced him to the hospital, and back into society.

He was late to the hobo game, but he entered it by choice.

"Civilization is a hassle, okay? There are no gray areas when you're in charge of your own fate, okay? I was in control of myself; I was the master of my own fate," he says. "If I had even this much energy, I'd still be out there — I just can't do it anymore."

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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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