Today, a first: a trio of homeless people kicking back with their cadged shopping carts in Frisinger Park. They must have been there because the police rousted them from the center of town for the Book Fair. I was surprised to see them—the homeless in Ann Arbor are virtually invisible, unlike in San Francisco, where they are virtually a city unto themselves. I almost experienced a double take.
I don’t know what tactics Ann Arbor uses to “control” (i.e., get rid of) the homeless population here, or what other factors (other than the weather, which is not exactly friendly most of the year to the “residentially challenged”) militate against their presence here, but they are effectively absent, unless you count the handful who use the Downtown branch of Ann Arbor District Library as a rest stop, or the few who stop and rest at the North University entrance to central campus, or the man (or different men taking shifts) who doggedly sits and panhandles every day between White Market and the GNC outlet on William.