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.
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