"This is our little makeshift family': A look inside a homeless camp in Hermitage

Posted at 10:11 PM, Feb 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 15:28:35-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the homelessness crisis continues in Nashville, the debate about how to address it includes some pretty diverse viewpoints.

After a heated meeting in Hermitage Monday, some people experiencing homelessness let NewsChannel 5 in to see a homeless camp at Old Hickory Boulevard and Andrew Jackson Way and talk to some of the people living there.

One person living at the camp is Megan Jackson.

"A lot of us are just scared to leave because we're so close to each other," Jackson said. "We prefer to stay close to each other. This is our little makeshift family."

Jackson says she wishes homeowners and businesses who often complain would understand that in many ways, she's just like them.

"I went to McGavock High School. I was class of 2008. I was in band," Jackson said.

Jackson says she dropped out after becoming pregnant. She later got her GED.

But when her nine-year relationship ended, unable to afford a place of her own, Jackson entered into a depression.

"Things just changed, I guess, and everybody needs time to get over things that bring them down," Jackson said.

She says it was at the homeless camp where she felt most comfortable, though she knows many of her neighbors would like her and her friends to leave.

"I've been here my whole life, I don't want to have to move to a different town just because people had a meeting at the library and they think we're messing up their area, or bringing it down," Jackson said.

In a place often cursed with stereotypes Jackson says from her perspective, her home is a blessing.

Metro Nashville can link those who are experiencing homelessness to help, programs, and available resources.

You can call Metro Social Services at 615-862-6432.