Unhoused evicted from large westside camp Thursday in Bloomington, Indiana

Members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrived at a large homeless camp behind the old west side K-Mart building Thursday morning to evict unhoused residents squatting on the land. Deputies easily outnumbered the residents still there, who scrambled to move their possessions from the camp before a noon deadline.

Workers from Centerstone, and Beacon assisted, along with volunteers from the Bloomington Homeless Coalition. Thursday’s eviction was the largest since a camp was removed from along the B-Line last August.

A camp resident, whose first name is Nancy, said she has secured housing at Crawford, but will need to wait at least a week before she can move in. In the meantime, volunteers were trying to find a place for her to stay until then.

Nancy told the Bloomingtonian, that her father, who has cancer, had stopped at the camp to help in the past couple of days. Nancy shared a tent with a man named Caleb, who also goes by the nickname “Nomad.” Caleb said he has a brain tumor, and not much longer to live, and he’ll be lucky if he lives to see his daughter’s 18th birthday.

Caleb told the Bloomingtonian on May 18th that he had no plans to leave the camp, but he was wanted on a warrant. Camp residents said Caleb was arrested in the following days when officials arrived to hand out eviction notices. The notices gave residents until noon Thursday, June 2, 2022, to vacate. Anybody still at the camp, would face arrest.

Caleb said people would come and go at the camp, sometimes he’d see them again, sometimes he wouldn’t, and sometimes they died. He said he has noticed that even those who manage to get off the potent mix of meth and fentanyl so prevalent on the streets, often just drop dead months later even though they are clean.

Thursday morning deputies from the county arrived, and by noon most of the remaining residents left taking what they could carry and leaving behind what they couldn’t. Volunteers and service workers from Centerstone and Beacon helped them.

The few unhoused people faded away while dragging what they could past rows of law enforcement vehicles parked along the At Home business, which fills the old K-Mart building.

Later the heavy equipment showed up, and a trio of men from a company that cleans up murder scenes, and other places where trauma has occurred, began placing items in the bucket of an excavator, and the items were then dumped in large dumpsters.

A few deputies stayed at the scene of the camps into the afternoon as the workers toiled to demolish the camps and haul away items left behind that appeared to be garbage.

Earlier, just before the noon deadline, a woman rolled down her window, and said, “This sucks! Where will they go?”

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Nancy leaves her home with two dogs as members of the unhoused community are evicted from a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 1: Nancy who lives in a homeless camp behind the old K-Mart building on West Third Street poses for a portrait on June 1, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents of the camp said they were given until tomorrow to vacate or face arrest. Announcements were passed out to residents recently. Most have left the camp already, taking what they could carry or move in a vehicle, and leaving the rest of their possessions behind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Workers pick up garbage to be disposed after members of the unhoused community were evicted from a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: A county worker helps clean up garbage left behind as members of the unhoused community are evicted from a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: A county worker helps clean up garbage left behind as members of the unhoused community are evicted from a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Personal items and trash are left behind after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Personal items and trash are left behind after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Two men cart away their possessions as members of the unhoused community are evicted from a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: A man carts away his possessions as members of the unhoused community are evicted from a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Beacon workers and members of the Bloomington Housing Coalition helped members of the unhoused community during an eviction of a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Nancy and Caleb’s camp is left behind to be demolished after after an eviction of a large camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Personal items and trash are left behind after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Personal items and trash are left behind after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Personal items and trash are left behind after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Personal items and trash are left behind after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Personal items and trash are left behind after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies evict residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. Residents were mostly gone by Thursday. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies evict residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. Residents were mostly gone by Thursday. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies evict residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. Residents were mostly gone by Thursday. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: The entrance to a trading post is left behind to be demolished after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: The entrance to a trading post is left behind to be demolished after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Refuse and a shopping cart are left behind after an eviction of unhoused residents of a large homeless camp on county property June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Beacon workers help unhoused residents of a large homeless camp move from county property during an eviction on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: Beacon workers help unhoused residents of a large homeless camp move from county property during an eviction on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: A Beacon worker, left, helps Nancy move during an eviction from a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 2: A member of the Bloomington Homeless Coalition, left, helps unhoused residents move as they are evicted from a large homeless camp on county property on June 2, 2022, in Bloomington, Indiana. Another part of the camp on private property was cleared about two weeks ago, and then camps were destroyed by a mulching tractor. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Abandoned homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Abandoned homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Abandoned homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Abandoned homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Demolished homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Demolished homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Demolished homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Caleb finds a baby mole in a demolished homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Caleb finds a baby mole in a demolished homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Abandoned homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Abandoned homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/19: Abandoned homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 19, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents were cleared from camps, which are being destroyed with a mulcher so a car lot can be built there. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/18: Caleb said he isn’t leaving a large homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 18, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Soon Caleb, who said he was wanted on an arrest warrant for another county, was arrested when eviction notices were posted at the camp, and nobody has seen him since. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/18: Homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 18, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Residents fear they will be cleared from the camp, but some say they aren’t leaving, and have nowhere to go. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, UNITED STATES – 2022/05/18: Caleb said he isn’t leaving a large homeless camp behind the old K-Mart on W. Third Street, May 18, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. Soon Caleb, who said he was wanted on an arrest warrant for another county, was arrested when eviction notices were posted at the camp, and nobody has seen him since. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

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