Nonprofit calls for unity in caring for Nashville's homeless population

Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 09:04:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — People in Metro are putting a lot of energy into solving the homelessness problem in the city.

Some are saying getting people who are on the streets into housing is the answer, but advocates are saying the city's message needs to be uniform.

There have been a lot of new developments in the past six months with homelessness in Nashville. The Metro Homeless Impact Division director left a couple weeks ago, the city has fenced off one of the largest camps in Davidson County, Brookmeade Park, and the city has gotten hundreds of people into permanent housing.

Still, it seems like a continuous process here in the city.

A homeless camp pops up, neighbors complain and the city moves it.

But, in the last couple of years, the strategy has seen some change.

With nonprofits, the city and others are looking towards solutions like permanent housing for everyone.

In Nashville, Salvation Army Area Commander Ethan Frizzell says what we're seeing is a side effect of growth.

"As the city is maturing and as our tax base increases, we need to use those funds to help those who are suffering in the growth," said Frizzell. "So, how do we help those who are suffering in the growth move out? And what do we determine is our quality of life minimum for out neighbors?"

There are a lot of people who want to help too. Though, some just want to get the homeless out of their neighborhoods.

Frizzell thinks the message should stay uniform.

He thinks it would work at Brookmeade Park.

"If we approach a park and if we approach a people and say it's time for us to move collectively into housing. What we know is that shared narrative, that shared story is effective. It has to be a shared narrative and a shared story. When the community comes with it and some people are dropping off tents and tarps and gas and generators, and others are, you're ruining our neighborhood, there is no sharing of story in that spot," said Frizzell.

Because while some people don't want the homeless around, advocates ask where they are going to go?