Photo Credit: Reclaim Brookmeade Park and Greenway
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
A grassroots organization in Nashville is calling on Nashville leadership to clean up a large homeless encampment that is plaguing the city.
The encampment is located at Brookmeade Park. The park is currently closed to the public because it is overrun with the city’s homeless population and the group says it is time for Nashville mayor John Cooper to make some changes.
The group, known as Reclaim Brookmeade Park, has a Facebook following of almost 800 people. They have been reflecting on their work over the past year and making plans for the new year.
Dede Byrd works with the group. She says she has “never seen an environment that is more unsafe than Brookmeade Park.”
People’s personal belongings are scattered throughout the grounds, while trash and debris fill much of the open spaces. Those camping there have left threatening messages when neighborhood residents have attempted to clean up the space.
Byrd says she does not believe any progress has been made in handling this “crisis” and says the mayor should be held responsible for the problem.
The mayor’s office directed questions to Metro Social Services who could only provide information on the general situation of homelessness in Nashville and not any specific update for Brookmeade.
Colby’s Army, another local group, is working on the problem of homelessness in 2022 as well.
“I think the focus for 2022 needs to be housing and it needs to be specifically funding for the housing and nonprofit and other supportive services and other organizations who can help with housing,” said Lisa Wysocky, Executive Director of the group.
Wysocky believes some progress has been made but that it is a slow-going process. Byrd says it’s not enough.
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The group had been previously notified that the park would be cleared because it is state property and setting up an encampment there is against state law. However, that still has not been done, even though the timeframe stated was for clearing in August. Metro City Council and the Mayor’s office have failed to provide transparency in the situation throughout the process.
“My finger is on the pulse and I’m paying attention and I need for the mayor’s office to step up and do something about the crisis we have at Brookmeade Park and Greenway,” said Byrd.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com