The Bloomingtonian

City of Bloomington evicts homeless from along College Avenue near Seminary Park

January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: Daniel waits next to his tent for the police to evict him, but some community members helped him move his things so the city wouldn’t take them to storage or put them into the trash. The City of Bloomington evicted members of the community who are experiencing homelessness from the right-of-way along S. College, which was not subject to Parks and Recreation rules that tents could be pitched until 11 p.m. Workers from Centerstone arrived around 1:30 p.m., then police, and a work crew who were dressed in PPE arrived later. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Social workers arrived in Seminary Park around 1:30 p.m. Thursday as the City of Bloomington made good on a statement that community members experiencing homelessness, and living in tents in right-of-way along S. College Avenue would have to leave the space.

A while later about a dozen police arrived in the parking lot of the Post Office.

“I’m not miserable. I’m not miserable. I’m not happy, I’m depressed but I’m not miserable. I live an everyday life, I have emotions like an everyday human being living in a house. I just can’t afford the rent,” said Daniel who has been living on the streets of Bloomington for the past 12 years.

Daniel said he used his COVID stimulus money to buy an electric scooter that will go 15-miles per hour, and said he wanted community members to know just because people don’t have a home doesn’t mean they waste their money.

Soon a member of the police department informed Daniel, and others living in nearby tents that while the park rules may allow tents until 11 p.m., they were actually on the right-of-way for College Avenue, and they were being “encouraged to move.”

At first Daniel was defiant, and said he’d stay, but soon volunteers with the Bloomington Homeless Coalition and other community members arrived to help him move his tent and possession to Seminary Park.

Community members and volunteers scrambled to help move tents, other items in an area stretching along College Avenue, and as a work crew arrived in City of Bloomington vehicles, and a garbage truck.

Around 4 p.m. the crew began placing some items on a flatbed trailer, and putting other items, including an American flag into bags. Some items were discarded, while other items were loaded onto the trailer.

Soon the only signs there had ever been a community of people experiencing homelessness in the along College Avenue were patches of green grass that had survived under tents as the rest of the grass had turned brown in winter weather.

A row of tents and belongings remained in Seminary Park, and activists gathered with those experiencing homelessness as a stack of pizzas arrived, and those still in the park wondered if the police would arrive tonight at 11 to load up whatever remained in the park.

January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: Aries, who has been experiencing homelessness for about 10 years, stands in the right-of-way along S. College Avenue where tents had been pitched as makeshift homes for community members without homes. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: Daniel, who is experiencing homelessness, said he bought a scooter with his stimulus money. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: Daniel, who has lived on the streets for about 12 years, was part of the Occupy Movement in 2011, but said things are difficult for average Americans, and that if he could afford rent in Bloomington, he wouldn’t be experiencing homelessness. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: “I’m not miserable. I’m not miserable. I’m not happy, I’m depressed but I’m not miserable. I live an everyday life, I have emotions like an everyday human being living in a house. I just can’t afford the rent,” said Daniel who has been living on the streets of Bloomington for the past 12 years. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: Members of the Bloomington Policer Department tell Daniel that he’s going to have to move from a place where he pitched a tent on the right-of-way along S. College Avenue. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A woman dressed in PPE helps a man pack items near Seminary Park. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A woman buries her face in her arms after the tent where she was sitting was picked up leaving her where she could be seen. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A community member helps move items for other community members experiencing homelessness who were living in right-of-way along S. College Ave. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A work crew dressed in PPE removes items belonging to community members experiencing homelessness from along S. College Avenue. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A work crew dressed in PPE removes items belonging to community members experiencing homelessness from along S. College Avenue. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A work crew dressed in PPE removes items belonging to community members experiencing homelessness from along S. College Avenue. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A work crew dressed in PPE removes items belonging to community members experiencing homelessness from along S. College Avenue. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A work crew dressed in PPE removes items belonging to community members experiencing homelessness from along S. College Avenue. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
January 14, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana: A man stands in the middle of a tent camp where community members experiencing homelessness had been living along S. College Avenue. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

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