Photos:

The project:

This project tracks and records the lives of squatters, or dirty kids, in Gainesville.

Squatting involves living on the streets, in abandoned buildings or with anybody who will house you.

Squatters travel from town to town by hitchhiking, train hopping or any other way they can figure out.

While there is always a risk with the police, violence or being taken advantage of, many squatters feel it's the only way to live.

Squatting

Ever see those people with dreads, stick and poke tattoos, dogs, a huge backpack and patches on their jeans?

Yeah, me too.

Someone is a squatter when he or she foregoes the normal domestic life of living in a permanent residence. Squatters travel from town to town, either by bus, hitchhiking or trainhopping. Squatters live mostly in abandoned buildings, punk houses, farms or the woods. They dumpster dive, eat leftovers and ask people for food.

Gainesville has a very active squatting community.

Many squatters say that Gainesville is one of the strongest, friendliest and most active squatting communities.

Places like Wayward Council, a not-for-profit DIY record store, offer havens for squatters in Gainesville.

A Gainesville Sun article reports that there are about 1600 "homeless" people according to the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry.

However, almost everyone agreed that the Gainesville law and the Gainesville Police Department were some of the harshest to the homeless of any city they'd experienced.

The project

This Web site explains some of the basics of squatting as I experienced squatting first hand.

You can find out how to get food, what to pack and how to travel when preparing to squat.

You can also read about my squatting experiences from my Twitter updates, http://twitter.com/squattinggville.