I Didn’t Realize That No One Knew, Or Everyone Forgot About What Happened In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have been writing about the hatred, hostility, unfriendliness, lack of cooperation, and usurious gouging that the local people in Dickinson treated the out of state workers with, but I didn’t realize that many people don’t know what I am talking about, or they have forgotten.  I must now re-tell what happened.

Having made one preliminary trip to Williston in May of 2011, where I had to sleep in my truck, I purchased a 1975-78 truck bed camper for $500, for my return to North Dakota.  When I arrived in Dickinson in mid-May of 2011, I slept in my truck bed camper in the Wal-Mart parking lot and in the Tiger Truck Stop parking lot for a few days.

Within a few days I was able to get a job with an oil field service company.  I was told that I could stay in my camper on the company property, but arrangements were being made to find a house trailer for me and two other new hires to live in, we would each have to pay some of the cost in rent.  Soon, my local Dickinson co-workers complained and protested so much about the company trying to find a house trailer for us new hires to live in, that the company withdrew the offer.  My other out of state co-worker was stuck sleeping in a small Chevy Astro van that he had borrowed from a relative.

In the evening after work, I would go to the Tiger Truck Stop to use the internet.  Soon, I began talking to the “regular customers” that I would see every evening.  It turned out, that most of these regular customers were sleeping in their vehicles at the truck stop.  Some people didn’t even have vehicles, they were sleeping on the ground way at the back of the parking lot.

When motorists on interstate I-94 would take the Tiger Truck Stop exit ramp, they would see campers and tents at the back of the truck stop parking lot.  This attracted other out of state workers to park there, and it caused local Dickinson residents to try to put an end to this.  The Tiger Truck Stop received many complaints about people staying in their parking lot.  Some local Dickinson residents went so far as to make formal complaints with the City of Dickinson.  The City then informed the Tiger Truck Stop that they were not licensed as a “camp ground” and could not allow people to stay there over night.  The Tiger Truck Stop staff had to inform people every night that they could not stay there in a trailer or camp there.

The Tiger Truck Stop had not seen the harm in allowing people who didn’t know where to go and what to do, the chance to park and find out if they could get a job and a if they could find a place to live.  There was no homeless shelter in Dickinson.  The local Dickinson residents who complained, did so out of maliciousness because this was a completely industrial area, and these people weren’t hurting anything.

Other places that the out of state workers slept at night in their vehicles, on the ground, or in the bushes were:  Wal-Mart parking lot, Patterson Lake, T-Rex Mall parking lot, under bridges over the Heart River, the deep wooded ditch behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, vacant lot behind the Grand Dakota Lodge, DSU Agricultural Research Center woods, Dickinson Trap & Skeet Club woods, Enchanted Highway metal sculptures, I-94 rest areas, storage units, industrial areas, and construction sites.

I estimate that on any night, there were 300 to 400 homeless workers in Dickinson.  About 90% of them were currently employed.  For most of these homeless workers, the cost of a motel room in Dickinson per week, was more money than they would take home in a week.  The least expensive old one bedroom apartments in Dickinson were $1,500 per month, with $1,500 deposit, if you could even find one that was available.  Most out of state workers came to North Dakota because they were having financial difficulty where they came from, they didn’t have $3,000 to get into an apartment.

I called all of the RV Parks in Dickinson, none of them would allow trailers or motor homes that were older than ten years old.  Lot rents were about $700 per month, plus utilities.  Many out of state workers thought that they were going to be O.K. with their older motor home, truck bed camper, or trailer that they brought with them, but instead they found that the trailer parks would not allow them, and that the local Dickinson residents hated them.

The local Dickinson residents had this scheme, that they were going to fleece the out of state workers in every way possible, to the greatest extent possible.  The local people in Dickinson did not want there to be enough housing.  The local people wanted there to be a scarcity of housing, so that housing prices would double, triple, and quadruple, which they did.  When the City of Dickinson and Stark County had to review permit applications for “Man Camps” which would have helped to alleviate the housing shortage, the local Dickinson residents protested so strongly, that they were not allowed.

The local Dickinson residents then proceeded to rent tents or camper spaces in their backyards for $700 per month, until the City of Dickinson later had to pass an ordinance against this.

In the evenings after work in Dickinson, I met many normal workers from out of state who had a home, a wife, and children back where they came from.  I would pass the time with them in the evening, while they waited until it was dark enough and late enough to go back to a construction site to sleep, industrial area, or parking lot, wherever they had to hide at night.  All of the homeless out of state workers had to hide at night, because the local Dickinson residents didn’t like the “oil field trash” getting away with not paying them $700 per month to sleep in their backyard, or $1,500 per month for their garage apartment.

The local people in Dickinson absolutely did not want there to be a homeless shelter because this would have meant more people getting away with not paying them.

In my previous blog post I wrote that soon it will be unnecessary for me to write about and criticize Dickinson for what it has done.  There is going to be an economic collapse in Dickinson, where all of the gouging and scheming local residents will get their just rewards for what they have done.  The local Dickinson residents mistreated the out of state workers who came here after facing an economic collapse where they came from.  Now the Dickinson residents can experience the exact same thing, losing their jobs, not being able to pay their bills, losing their possessions and their homes, having to go to a different state where they have never been and don’t know anyone, with not enough money to pay for a place to stay.

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2 thoughts on “I Didn’t Realize That No One Knew, Or Everyone Forgot About What Happened In Dickinson, North Dakota

  1. They had no man camps? Is that true? A homeless shelter is not a solution for the challenge the boom presented. Sorry, it just isn’t. Man camps, yes, more camping areas w/liberal allowance for mode of domicile (temporarily) yes. Did and do people get greedy and terrible? Yes, since time immemorial.

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    1. Yes, there were no Man Camps in Dickinson or Stark County. Just across the county line on Hwy 22 there is one behind Joy Haven/Boer’s Nest in Dunn County. Man Camps are expensive dormitory type housing that costs $100 to $150 per night. They are appealing to large companies like Halliburton and Baker Hughes because they solve several problems besides housing, like having a controlled drug-free, crazy girlfriend-free, criminal-free environment, which helps the large companies have fewer worker problems.

      The local residents said they didn’t want Man Camps because they didn’t want all the rapes. The same people that would have lived in the Man Camps, then had to go live in the local Dickinson owned properties. Why not an outcry about all the rapes that would happen now? Because it was stupid and made up in the first place to take steps to make sure that there was a shortage of housing and high prices.

      The people in Dickinson liked to tell everybody, “This oil boom is going to last for the next twenty years.” When someone wanted to build cheap housing, all the Dickinson residents would then cry, “You’re not going to build that, and then in five years when this oil boom is over leave us with that!”

      Outside of Dickinson there is more vacant land than almost anywhere else in the United States. They could have had a trencher go one mile, turn and go another mile, turn and go another mile, and that would have been the electrical trench. Then done the same thing for water line, then the same thing for sewer line. 15,000 feet divided by 15 feet = 1,000 RV parking spots with water, sewer, and electric. At $400 per month lot rent, that is $400,000 per month, 4.8 million per year. Have it back off the highway and behind a hill where no has to look at it except the people who live there. When the oil boom is over, the farmer can have it back for all anyone cares, the electric, water, sewer, roads have all been paid for.

      This could have been done on a bigger scale or a smaller scale, but no one really wanted to do it, because the best money making scheme was to have a shortage of housing and keep property prices high.

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