NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville homeless encampment is in jeopardy of being cleared out. Open Table Nashville says Metro city officials plan to close the encampment under the Jefferson Street Bridge on June 1.
In its announcement, the organization says the people who live there will be relocated to another encampment, "Tent City," south of downtown. Open Table believes it is inhumane to close encampments when there is not enough affordable, accessible housing for those in need.
The city released a statement saying nearly all the people living there have accepted the city's help to find a safe and healthy place for them to live.
Read the full statement below:
"We’re not content to let our unhoused neighbors live under a bridge or anywhere they’re exposed to extreme heat and other dangerous conditions - especially not when we have an infusion of federal dollars to help encampment residents with alternative housing solutions.
Our purpose is to find stable housing for every person living in the Jefferson Street bridge encampment. The population is currently down to 10 to 15 people per day. To date, nearly all of them have accepted Metro’s offer to find them a safe, healthy place to live through the work of our housing navigators.
We’re also helping nonprofits that serve our neighbors in the encampment area find other indoor facilities nearby that offer more sanitary conditions for the important work they do, including bathrooms and commercial kitchens.
We recently launched a new campaign to recruit landlords to participate in our rehousing work so we can house even more Nashvillians. And in the last six months alone, we’ve housed over 300 residents.
On the public safety side, the MNPD will be able to provide you with data about the dangerous level of crime that residents are exposed to in the encampment. It’s all the more reason to help everyone there find safe housing, and we’re grateful to all our nonprofit partners helping us in this effort."