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Paul Nicholson
Nashvegas TN
Digital Marketing guy for Captain D's. Hockey fan, photographer, and father of 2 awesome boys.

(Opinions expressed here are not those of my employer. Heck, they might not even be mine.)

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

cleanup the town

On my way in to work every morning i pass under an interstate overpass on Woodland St coming out of east Nashville. It is one of the more popular spots in Nashville for homeless people to camp out. At the top of the embankment under the overpass, there are usually 3-5 people hanging out, and they obviously live there. They have blankets, bags, cartons, etc. All their stuff. I frequently see them walking around the area, but have never once been hit up for money. Even though this is one of the more trafficked intersections in the downtown area, and there is a long stop light there, i have never been panhandled.

Last night was our first night to hit the freezing point. Its 8:00am right now, sun has been up for about 2 hours, and the temp is currently reported as 37, with a chill factor of 32.

So - to the point of all this.

There were metro crews (who looked liked they were staffed by ex-homeless or people working off community service) "cleaning" the whole place out. All the stuff from the area at the top of the embankment had been pushed down to the sidewalk on the bottom and was being loaded in to garbage trucks. The people that usually live around there were no where to be seen. I don't know if they had been carted off, or if they just left the area.

I hope they were taken to a shelter for the winter or something like that, but i have a feeling they weren't. Even if they were, they probably wont be able to stay the whole winter there. And even if they could spend the whole winter there - all their possessions in the world were just thrown away like they were yard clippings.

That just isn't cool.


Christy said...

I know that staff from the Nashville Rescue Mission drive around town on nights when the temperature is below 34 degrees (F) and offer everyone a place to sleep. They never turn anyone away, even if people have to sleep on the floor.

The thing is, who wants to sleep on a floor? Especially when you can sleep at "home," even if that home is under a bridge.

And then, of course, there is the very problem you just mentioned ... often people cannot take all of their possessions to the shelter with them. However, if they leave their possessions behind, they risk their property being stolen or thrown away.

kaye said...

I love to see your heart reach out. Wonder how many drive by and no longer see