NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Major efforts began in November to find housing for the unhoused community living in Brookmeade Park in West Nashville. The green space has been home to a homeless encampment for several years.
Only about three people are left living in the space, which is down from around 45 people according to the city. The Metro Homeless Impact Division began a special effort called "Welcome Home" last month in the park which is a Housing First initiative to move friends living in unsafe and uninhabitable environments, to safe and stable housing options.
"They’re not just trying to throw us somewhere and forget. They are here every single day," Former Brookmeade Park resident Sammantha McCrary said.
Letters were given out to residents last month that everyone would need to be relocated by January 4 in order for the park to be closed for renovations.
Counselors and case managers have been on scene approaching the situation with compassion and transparency. They allowed the Brookmeade residents to choose from certain temporary and permanent housing options given. They also provided storage for their belongings while they transitioned to their new living space.
"When you see people transition from living outdoors to inside you see the smile on their face. Hope is being instilled in them. We want them to be able to acclimate themselves back in life and want to give back to others," Metro Homeless Impact Division's Interim Director April Calvin explained.
The West Nashville group Reclaim Brookmeade Park has spent years advocating for the city to restore the green space. While Metro Parks has begun some repairs inside, there's still no set date as to when it may reopen again.
This is one of two projects part of the city's new Welcome Home effort. The next project is to house around two dozen people living in an encampment in South Nashville near Wentworth-Caldwell Park.