Hermitage residents share homeless concerns

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Hermitage residents say the growing homeless community in a private stretch of land is creating significant problems.

Around 30 people live just behind these trees. It’s a growing community that people say is creating more litter along the road, causing traffic problems and hurting businesses.

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

Shocked by what Brian Vilendrer said was once an empty private lot near a mall, now home to dozens of people.

“It continues to grow, and there are more and more pedestrians in the area and more and more shopping carts, trash, debris strewn about 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 are saying that I don’t shop there anymore. I do not want to go; my kids won’t do their business like that,” Vilendrer said.

Vilender said that’s when he started emailing city leaders.

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

Little did Brian know that his email wasn’t the only one town leaders like Erin Evans were getting.

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

I asked Evans why this sudden growth.

“Because of some of the construction and new development that has taken place, smaller encampments have been moved, and people are just starting to move around and find places like here where they feel safe,” said Evans.

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

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

City leaders are now asking parents as they work to fix this problem for residents and those who live behind these trees.

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