A local advocate for the homeless in Anchorage -- and a homeless man himself -- has been given three day's notice to vacate his campsite, located on Municipality of Anchorage land. While the eviction notice is nothing unusual, what is odd is the campsite itself, located some 50 feet from Anchorage’s well-traveled Chester Creek Trail near Westchester Lagoon and carved into a hillside, like a Hobbit hole from the popular “Lord of the Rings” series. What’s all the more incredible about the location is that John Martin III -- the shelter’s resident -- has been living there undetected for longer than a year.
Martin is well known in downtown Anchorage. He’s the man with a long, scraggly beard and piercing blue eyes, usually clad in flip-flops, who on any given weekday can typically be found outside city hall, protesting perceived negative treatment of the homeless by the powers-that-be in Anchorage. He first set up there in 2011, when the city began cracking down on urban homeless camps, small tent communities that would crop up among the city’s homeless population.