GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Home for Alan Price has been a gathering of tents on the Grand River in northern Grand Rapids -- a spot known to the homeless as "East Camp."
But his real home is in North Dakota.
"I want to be back," he said.
Price was living at East Camp with his girlfriend, Sandy, and others, including his new friend, Bobby Allen.
"What can I say?" Bobby Allen said. "I'm living out here in the woods. This is where we live."
They survive on welfare and by begging -- "flying signs" at nearby intersections to get money.
But, that's not the way they should live, said Patrick Cameron, the head of Servants Center, who checked on them one recent morning. The non-profit agency wants to get them off the streets, perhaps into Exodus Place -- a former halfway house in Grand Rapids.
"Nobody should have to live like this, and for these folks, they don't know any other alternatives rather than to build a camp."
Photos: Hidden homeless camps in West Michigan
On this morning, Cameron tried talking Bobby Allen into leaving East Camp, but he got nowhere.
"So, if you get into recovery and we can get you back into housing in Exodus , you're willing to try that?" Cameron asked.
"I don't want Exodus," Allen responded. "I'd sleep out here first. I don't want to be back in Exodus. Don't want to man. Don't like it. Don't want to be there."
"So when it gets cold what are you going to do?"
"I don't know. I'll figure out something.
But Alan Price wants out -- now.
He said he moved to Grand Rapids several years ago to help his dad, but then his van broke down, and, like everybody else at the camp, he doesn't have a job.
Price said he found East Camp four months ago -- but the prospect of a farm job in North Dakota -- his real home -- has been calling him.
And so, on this morning, the head of Servants Center, Patrick Cameron, got Price's mom on the phone. Price's mom lives in North Dakota.
"So if we get Al back there, he's got a job?" Cameron asked her.
"We're going to be working on getting Al back there," he told her. "I don't know if we can get him on a bus yet tomorrow, but we will certainly start next week, try to get him on a bus on Monday."
"Your mom started to cry. Your mom started to cry," Cameron told Price.
"They love me down there," Price said.
Price's face brightened with a huge smile. Bobby Allen just sat, and watched.
"I wish I had some family that loved me that much," he said.
"I'm going to go home," Price said. "I got my job back. I'm going to start working again. Yeah, I'm excited. Yeah. I'm exicted to get there. I've got a life there. Here, I ain't go no life."
Then, Price made a promise to Bobby Allen.
"I'll tell you what; I'll get down there and if you're still in this predicament, I'll get on my feet, I'll get you a ticket down there and get you a job there. If you work and you work hard, can't let me down."
"I do work hard," Bobby said.
Several days later, as promised, Servants Center bought two Greyhound bus tickets for Price and his girlfriend. And, they arrived in North Dakota, where both had jobs on a farm for $11 an hour.
A man in his 30s fell through the ice near Mlddileville Village Hall pulled himself out and went home to dry before dive crews were called in to search for the victim who they thought might still be in the water.
Wyoming Police are asking for help identifying the suspect who strangled a store clerk during a robbery.
A Kansas man accused of planning to detonate a car bomb at a Wichita airport was arrested Friday at the airport, authorities said.