Tony, 50, and JB, 20, share a once vacant house in Highland Park, a city surrounded by the City of Detroit. Tony and JB were both magnetized to the tent city, Occupy Detroit in the late fall of 2011. When the Occupy camp was dismembered from Grand Circus Park, the people left behind were dropped off on E Golden Gate and told to make due. Golden Gate, just south of 7 Mile and John R, is located in the 'red light district' of Detroit.
The neighborhood, like many in Highland Park was hit hard by the recession, vacant houses turned into drug and brothels. Tony and JB were left on Golden Gate to fend for themselves, on a cold dark night. Over time the two and neighboring squatters were able to turn a couple houses on the block into homes to live into, without running water or heat, they keep an eye on the street and drove out pimps and hard drugs. They boarded up homes and cleaned up lots, they created an Occupy Detroit Realty- a renegade squatter community.
Tony was living downtown, homeless, wandering the streets during the day hustling for money. At night he slept on the stoop of the Old Wayne County Building, which sits vacant looming over downtown. Tony, whose father and brother were murdered as a child, got heavy into sports and girls in high school which kept him out of trouble. His past crept up to him in his later years, unemployment and then drugs took over Tony's life. He just couldn't hold a job any more nor a home.
JB is a tattoo artist who would often recieve pit bulls, drugs or money for his work. He was kicked out his family's home at 16. JB has been a nomad ever since, while trying to pursue his art- but he constantly gets caught up into hustling drugs instead.