Nashville Church Fights To Keep Homeless Camp On Property
by Emily Luxen
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Green Street Church of Christ is taking on the city, in an effort to keep a homeless camp on its property.
About 15 tents currently sit next to the church. The community started a few months ago, and has steadily grown. However, after a recent complaint to the zoning board and a citation, the city wants to put an end to the encampment.
Officials with the Metro Nashville Codes Department state the church's property does not allow camping, but church members say it is their mission to help the homeless.
"The Bible says when you help a poor person, you help Jesus," said Tripp Hunt, the attorney representing the church, " They feel there is Jesus in each one of these tents."
Residents said the community is safe, clean, and everyone looks out for each other.
"Why are they picking on us," said resident Jim Johnston, "Why don't they help the homeless?"
Church members said they regularly provide hot meals for the residents, and many of the people also attend church services.
"The church is not going to let them leave," said Hunt, "If they have to go to court, they have to go to court. They're determined."
Officials with the Metro Law Department, said they are "trying to work through the issue." They said they are hoping to figure out a way that the church's mission can be fulfilled, while protecting public health and safety at the same time.