NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A south Nashville business owner said he was beaten with a metal rod while helping one of his customers on Wednesday morning.
He said the man who attacked him is homeless and lives behind the laundromat and car wash he owns.
“He walked inside and then my husband her something clanking and the customer said, ‘Oh, he broke the window,’” Un Kim, the wife of the man attacked, said.
She said her husband’s arm is broken and he is in the hospital recovering after surgery.
“He is in terrible pain. They already told me it’s going to take so many months to heal and he can’t do anything,” Kim said. ‘He’s really important to us. He does all maintenance.”
Kim said this is tough because she and her husband manage multiple apartments and multiple businesses.
“My husband’s health is most important. Our life is most important. Our life is in danger by the homeless people, 20 to 30 people. There is nothing I can do,” Kim said.
She said this has been an ongoing issue.
Homeless people camp out behind Kim’s car wash and in the car wash bays on East Thompson Lane, making their way into the laundromat located in front of the car wash.
“Customers keep complaining, you know, ‘We can’t come because with them doing drugs and asking for money, threatening us to.’ I say, ‘OK, but I’ve called police,’’ Kim said.
Kim said they have been trying to put an end to it, but so far nothing has been done.
Councilwoman Ginny Welsch said there’s nowhere to move them.
“We have no place to put those people who live in encampments,” Welsch said. “We don’t have affordable housing. We don’t have permanent supportive housing. We don’t even have enough temporary shelter beds.”
With 2,000 homeless people on the streets of Nashville, Welsch wants to see the Metro Council pass the measure to create a stand-alone Office of Homeless Services. She’s hoping to see that office up and running by July 2022.
“Right now, our homeless impact division is not doing a good job. They have lost many great staff. They have not been following the right protocols and until we start addressing these things and approaching these issues systematically and putting our resources behind it, we aren’t going to make a dent in this problem,” Welsch said.
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