Nashville investing $50M to help combat homelessness crisis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s office told News 2 the city is investing $50 million to reduce homelessness.

“The mayor has made getting our needy neighbors back on their feet as a top priority and is investing an unprecedented $50 million to dramatically increase the resources and tools the city has to offer. there to attract people to the street, into their homes and on the road to rebuilding, said mayor spokesman TJ Ducklo. “Some of those tools include more staff for our Homeless Impact vision, additional resources to address substance abuse and mental health, and home solutions. new long-term support – like a 90-unit complex that we will start building at the end of this month.”

Metro officials say 1,887 homeless people lived in Nashville between April 2021 and April 2022. Fifty-nine percent of those living from April 2021 were Black. Thirty-nine percent of them are white.

On Green Street in South Nashville, the positive energy of the city is not strongly felt.

Although the street is short, the row of tents without water or electricity is long. There are vacuums and tumblers, coolers, and trash cans located along the green space, against a fence 20 feet from I-40.

The signs there say “NO CLASSIFIED STATE PROPERTY.”

Business owner Bobby Joslin said when the state posted these signs about six months ago, the homeless camp located on the right side of the state had moved to Green Street, which is owned by the city.

Beside the many tents and homeless people are a handful of businesses ranging from radiator shops to battery companies. These businesses pay the rent for Bobby Joslin. Some tenants were unhappy with the homeless camps and told Joslin they planned to leave when their lease expired.

“We get complaints. When the contract expires, we’ll be out of here. Homeless people have taken over the streets,” Joslin said. “What a shame for the customer. A tenant’s wife won’t be coming down here anymore. ”

This is a matter of a business community struggling with the COVID pandemic, and now supply chain issues, says Joslin.

“This is not helping. This problem is taking over Nashville. I was so frustrated,” Joslin said. “As a city, Nashville is a shining star. And this problem is taking over. Main streets, downtown, homeless are taking over Metro Parks. The family couldn’t get through anymore. It is border crossing. ”

News 2 spoke to a number of homeless people living in shacks on Green Street for a variety of reasons.

A mother of three who has lived in the shack for more than six months told News 2 she is waiting for housing assistance, but so far, travel has been slow.

Speaking of business owners’ complaints about people like her, the woman said: “They need God in their lives. Why are they afraid of a homeless person. You have a car, driving. What can we do for you? ”

Another man, who said he’s 37 years old and has nine children, told News 2 he was studying at Tennessee State for computer science and engineering, but life circumstances brought him here. tent city.

“If you don’t want us to be homeless, do more programs like urban housing solutions,” he said.

The man said he applied for jobs, especially in mechanical engineering, but homelessness put him at a disadvantage. “Although my experience is better, they will give them a chance because they feel more reliable because they have transport and a stable home,” he said.

“I feel sorry for people who live like this, nobody wants to live like this,” Joslin said. “But they have the choice to get a roof over their heads a good meal at the rescue mission or a room at the inn and they don’t want to do that.”

A third man, who said he studied music in Nashville state, says the high cost of housing coupled with low wages is a problem for many people.

“We need a step, a door to go through,” said the man. “Once we get through that, some of us will stay through that door.”

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Joslin concludes: “But it’s not fair to people who live and work, pay taxes and support the business community and have to deal with things like this on their doorstep.

https://www.wkrn.com/news/local-news/nashville/nashville-investing-50m-to-help-combat-homelessness-crisis/ Nashville investing $50M to help combat homelessness crisis

Alley Einstein

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