The group 'Reclaim Brookmeade Park' wants city to find new solutions for the homeless

Posted at 10:25 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 23:25:53-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A West Nashville group wants the city to move the homeless from Brookmeade Park and clean up the area so it's accessible to the public.

'Reclaim Brookmeade Park' is a Facebook group including people from West Nashville. The group formed in an attempt to change the current condition of the park.

There are 80 or more people living in the park according to some aid groups. Trash has built up and shopping carts strewn throughout the greenway. The city is trying to get the people who live there into Section 8 housing. There's a citywide effort that's housed around 500 people so far.

However, those in the group believe the city isn't doing enough to ensure the people who live in the woods at Brookmeade are properly housed at a different location.

"It is a balancing act," said Rebecca Lowe, who founded the group. "The park was founded in 2004 by some citizens who recognized that it was historical land and it might be a nice place for the West Nashville and walk and enjoy nature. Then low and behold about 10 years ago it slowly started seeing tents."

Lowe said she believed the city could look into alternative housing options for the people in the camp. She said a community of housing pods or converting an unused city building could be an option.

"Our solution is to ask the city to be active in starting to get us some dates and numbers," she said. "We would love to see the city tell us how soon can we get the park down to 15 people, say is it November 15th, is it January 15th?"

Lowe said she understand it's a complicated situation. Many people in the park don't want to relocate to the rescue mission or get the help many non-profits provide.

Still she said it's a public park paid for by the taxpayers. She'd like to see it accessible to everyone.