I used to find these rumors amusing. But now they’re just getting boring and tedious.
But people actually believe them… like government officials, ministers and priests. People you wouldn’t think that would be suckered into believing far fetched fantasies.
So, I thought I’d start making a list of these rumors and give you my stance on them.
I suppose a true conspiracy theorist would say I’m just cleverly creating this post to confuse you into thinking these things aren’t true when really they are all SO very true.
Whatever, I can only tell you my side of the story. Think what you want.
Rumor 1: I am the plug.
This one might take a little explaining. Urban dictionary defines “The Plug” thusly: “A top hustler or boss motherfucker”
This is and likely will always be my most favorite rumor. I mean who doesn’t want to be a “boss motherfucker.”
Apparently I am THE ice dealer in Akron. Ice is a form of meth, I guess.
Look: I have never sold any drugs ever. And I am most certainly not the leading ice dealer here in Akron.
Truth be told, I’m a little insulted by this rumor. It suggests that I’m an idiot. Why the hell would I publicly surround myself with meth addicts and then start my ice career? It would have been way smarter to stay far away from my clientele. I should have continued my online marketing career as my front while I was secretly selling ice to the world. I mean come on! I watched Breaking Bad. I know how to make a proper front business.
I’ve never seen ice. I’ve certainly never made ice. I sucked at chemistry.
I am NOT the plug.
Rumor 2: We are run by the Aryan Brotherhood.
I don’t know if this is still an active rumor. But I thought I’d cover it here. People believed the Aryan Brotherhood were getting out of jail and moving in here.
I was a little scared about this one for a while. But then one day a person who lived here who had actual connections to the ABs said this was insane. They said that ABs aren’t going to camp in my crappy backyard. They like to camp in places like Montana.
This person said ABs were never here and would likely never lower themselves to coming here.
Aryan Brotherhood is a white supremacist and Neo-Nazi prison gang and organized crime syndicate in the United States with an estimated 15,000–20,000 members in and out of prison.
They wouldn’t let their fellow brothers be stranded in a tent city.
Rumor 3: We are run by the Hells Angels.
The problem with this is that in order to be a Hells Angel you have to qualify:
Hells Angels Membership Requirements – One Percenter Bikers
You will be expected to live on your Harley Davidson, riding across cities and states on your way to meets and as your primary form of transport, if you want to know how to become a Hells Angel then you need to be a dedicated Harley Davidson rider.
There are 2 people here that have drivers licenses. Me and Steve. Steve drives our minivan.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone roll up here on a motorcycle looking for a tent.
One time one of our residents went to a Hells Angels meeting and asked if they wanted to support us. He said they didn’t want anything to do with us.
We are not run by the Hells Angles. As far as I know, they have never stepped onto our property.
Rumor 4: I run prostitutes and drug deals out of our back yard.
This is a little bit like Rumor 1. But it’s different enough that it deserves its own attention.
The amusing thing about this is that this rumor came from someone living here that was actually trying to sell drugs out of our backyard. He has been kicked out of here for months.
I do think that in the early days when we allowed drinking and a camp fire some prostitutes came into our backyard a couple times.
That was the main reason we ended the drinking and campfires. It was like the wild, wild West. One morning we found a guy we didn’t know passed out in the fire ring. Fortunately, it had been extinguished.
If you ever start a tent city, take it from me: NEVER ALLOW DRINKING AND A CAMP FIRE.
This rumor bothers me because it seems to stick. I still hear questions about this one.
Let me be clear: We have ZERO tolerance for anything illegal in our community. It is grounds for immediately and permanently being banned from the property.
I have never and will never prostitute anyone. I have never and will never sell any kinds of drugs. Business for me is a game. Part of the fun is playing by the rules and still being successful.
Rumor 5: Sage is a failing business man.
This is a weird one to counter. I’m happy to show my tax returns. If you really want to see them because you think I suck at business let me know. I’ll ask my wife if she’s cool with letting me do that.
I will say this: I am not impressed by my business dealings. I’ve only broken $1 million in revenue one year. I’ve always felt like I was much better than that. I felt like I should at least be a $10 million to $100 million guy. But I never got there. I’ve since lost my interest in chasing money. The great recession ruined me on the glories of capitalism.
If you want a real rumor it might be that I’m probably becoming more of a Marxist than a capitalist. OOOOOOHHHH. How’s that for some juicy gossip!? You can use that the next time I run for office.
Rumor 6: Sage is just doing this to run for mayor again.
So you’re telling me that I’ve set up this entire tent city and elaborate homeless day center as a campaign stunt? How cynical do you have to be to think I’m doing this work just so I can run for mayor. I mean at least say I’m doing it to run for Senate or governor. This is a lot of work to hope to be mayor some day.
I have no idea if I’m going to run for mayor again or not. It really depends where I am in the homeless process. It also depends on how I think I can be of the best use and make the biggest difference.
In my mind I’m thinking about how to solve this homeless crisis nationally. Akron is just the beginning for me. I want people to say that Akron was where America learned how to properly help the homeless.
Rumor 7: Our building is now under immanent domain.
This is the rumor that started to make rumors less fun for me. Maybe I was a little tired. But the fun of all this kind of slipped away. I started getting slightly irritated. But just the same, I understand the reason for the rumor.
There is a resident here who loves this place. Of all the people here he might love it the most. To the point of maybe even needing it.
Somehow he got it in his mind that we are now going to be a parking garage. And I think it’s going to be happening in 2 days, according to him.
Immanent domain is one of those things that technically could happen at any time. So the “worry” is always out there. But this is completely false. No one in authority has ever so much as even whispered this to me.
Rumor 8: Sage is buying china for the village.
Um… I hate china. It doesn’t microwave and you can’t put it in a dishwasher. I wouldn’t buy china for my worst enemy.
Rumor 9: Sage is getting fat rich off the homeless.
Since we started this operation in late 2016 I have taken no salary. On average we are in the hole about $2500 per month.
The yearly taxes of the building are: $8232.40
Total Utilities so far for 2018 are: $9,681.42
So far we have brought in: $19,992.61
$5000 of that is earmarked for an opiate recovery grant.
$2000 of that is earmarked for a grant of food, clothing and tents.
Our expenses so far this year have been: $14,191.45
If you can figure out how I’m getting rich off of those numbers please tell me.
All I know is every single month my wife covers all of our home expenses and pays out about $2500 per month to keep this place a float.
Our book: "Out of the Shadows: An American Homeless Story" is now available. For a limited time, order the soft cover book and get the digital book totally free (A $9.99 savings)
Rumor 10: Kids live at the village.
NO KIDS LIVE AT THE VILLAGE!
Our feeling is that child and family services would likely take them away from the parent. So we send kids back to their cars and the woods.
Rumor 11: People turn down housing vouchers to stay living in a tent.
If I ever got word that happened I would throw that person out immediately. We aren’t trying to keep people living in tents. We are a place where they can get back on their feet and get into housing.
Rumor 12: There is housing available for anyone that wants it.
The city says this. AMHA has 20,000 people on their waiting list. There is not housing available for anyone that wants it. That’s just a flat out lie.
Rumor 13: Sage is selling the building
I’m 46 years old. I’m healthy and have a ton of energy.
A commercial building is a ridiculously difficult thing to purchase. The appraisal to purchase the building was $4000. The paperwork was endless. The loan process was a nightmare. I had to put 20% down on the building. If I had known what I was getting myself into for the buying process I seriously might not have done it.
But I did do it. And now I have a commercial building. It’s not just any commercial building. It’s a GORGEOUS commercial building with a lot of really cool history. I love having this building.
On top of that, you can do really cool things with a commercial building that you can’t do with a single family home. It’s a bunch of fun to have this building.
I’m not at a point in my life where I want to sell this building.
On top of all that, I can see one day where this building becomes the property of The Homeless Charity. Maybe we could make this the homeless center of America. That’s where my head is right now.
But the charity isn’t at a point where it is able to take on a building. And I’m happy to have the building.
No, I’m not selling the building.
These are the rumors I know of right now. If you know of any other rumors please let me know. I’ll add it to the list.