Stay in Detroit
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|At about noon on August 31 I arrived in Dearborn, MI. Here is Dearborn Police Department where I asked about sleeping in vehicles. The officer behind the desk (actually an enclosed raised area) was a nice woman. She said that they didn't have any ordinaces against sleeping in vehicles and that they sent campers and such to the Dearborn Library parking lot. I used the bathroom in the police department.|
|Here is the lot where I have been mostly staying for my first week or so. That evening I was feeling really grimy and decided to take a sponge bath in the Police Department bathroom. That turned out to be a bad idea. Shortly after I entered with towel and toiletries, I heard the woman mention a Code Brown, but it didn't register at the time. A few minutes later an officer came in and told me I couldn't do that in a PUBLIC restroom. I was getting packed up when he came back in with another officer (wearing rubber gloves) and told be in most intimidating terms that I had to leave right now and that I had better not come back or he would arrest me. Yipes. Definitely got my attention.|
|Here is the Dearborn main library which has pretty good internet access and pretty long hours and where I do most of my e-mail and web editting. I looked into local shelters. All of the shelters in Wayne County (with Dearborn) are in Detroit and, it turns out, in a really terrible neighborhood. I have never seen such large expanses of torn down and boarded up buildings. So I decided to head North to Macombe County shelters (just North of Detroit) where there were shelters in working neighborhoods (much safer). On Sunday, Sep 2, I finally found the main Macombe County shelter and they said that only county residents could use their facilities (it was a pretty nice shelter). Drats. I was badly missing my showers.|
|Having verified that shelters were not really a viable option but that sleeping in my car was OK if I could find bath room facilities, I joined Bally's so I would have a place to shower. It is $50 a month for nationwide access (plannin g for future travels) for the first 36 months and then $8.50 a month thereafter. $2 a day to shower is worth it (the first shower was worth $50 to me). I visited a Detroit park, Belle Island on Labor Day (Sep 3) as all libraries were closed and I couldn 't look into work (my next endeavor) either.|
|On Sep 4, Tuesday, I found out that I the big auto makers just weren't hiring. I also applied with a couple of upscale temporary agencies in Dearborn, MI (mostly temp to hire positions, probably with the big auto makers). On Wednesday I applied with a real day laborer kind of temporary agency in Warren county, ETS. They sent me out that day for an afternoon (12:30PM to 7:00PM) at an auto part maker. The auto parts makers have much lower costs (decidedly non-union) than the major auto makers and this one, Hi Tech Coatings seems quite busy.|
|Here are Ina and Thomas who went out to Hi Tech with me on Wednesday. I have since been back on Thursday and Friday and been asked to come back on Monday. From the way they are treating us, I suspect we will be offered regular positions there if we keep working hard and showing up regularly. Ina is from a working class neighborhood in the northern parts of Detroit. She is coming north to Warren (the suburbs) in pursuit of better pay. Thomas (39) was kicked out by his family and is staying at a shelter in Warren county (a church supported one with no residency requirements that seems very nice and which I wasn't able to contact until I was settled into my routines). He doesn't seem as focussed (didn't show up until too late on Thursday to get back to Hi Tech), so my guess is Ina will be able to stay on full time if she wants but that Thomas won't as he will be too inconsistent. My guess is that I will be at Hi Tech until I leave Detroit mid October for Florida.|
This page was last updated on July 17, 2005.