Hermitage residents share homeless population concerns

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Hermitage residents said the growing homeless community in a private stretch of land creates significant issues.

About 30 people are living just behind these trees. It’s a growing community people say now creates more garbage along the road, causes traffic issues, and hurts businesses.

“I was kind of shocked. I didn’t know that was a thing,” Vilendrer said.”

Shocked at what Brian Vilendrer said was once an empty private field near a shopping center, now home to dozens of people.

“It just continues to grow, and there is more and more foot traffic in the area and more shopping carts, litter just scattered debris and things like that,” Vilendrer said.

At first, Brian thought he was the only one who noticed the change until people started talking.

“More and more people saying I don’t shop there anymore. I don’t want to go there; my kids won’t go their things like that,” Vilendrer said.

Vilendrer said that’s when he started sending out emails to city leaders.

“A lot of those questions and concerns,” Vilendrer said.

Brian didn’t know that his email wasn’t the only one city leaders like Erin Evans were getting.

“The general consensus that I’ve heard from all the residents that have reached out is that they are concerned that the camp exists and that it has grown over time,” Evans said.

I asked Evans why the sudden growth.

“Because of some of the construction and new development that has occurred, it’s displaced smaller encampments, and folks are just starting to move and find places like here that they feel safe,” said Evans.

Evans she’s now working with the city’s codes department to clear the area and find another place for people to go. While Brian said he feels for the people living in the camp, he believes it can’t go on.

“It’s one thing to have one person camp, but it’s different to have a community move in and alter the area,” Vilendrer said.

City leaders are now asking for parents while they work to solve this issue for residents and those living behind these trees.

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