Summer most dangerous time for Nashville homeless population
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —
Right now, folks are in the middle of the most dangerous time for homeless populations.
Winter's holiday season is brighter for Nashville's homeless community.
"Everybody likes to think about them during the holidays," Steven Young, with Home Street Homes Ministries, said. "Homelessness is 365 day a year, 24 hour a day condition. It doesn't go away, just because the temperatures go up."
The risk goes up, Young said, whose non-profit delivers food, water, tents and more supplies to the homeless on a weekly basis.
"Recently, we found a mother with an infant child. So we had to get them off the streets ourselves and put them in a hotel because there's just not enough beds available to handle an ever increasing homeless population in Nashville, " Young explains.
2017 became the deadliest year yet for Nashville's homeless community. Advocates say many of the 118 deaths were preventable.
"They have to deal with torrential rains, getting flooded out, heat, insects and lack of concern. With heat stroke and dehydration, that's just as deadly as hypothermia and frostbite," Young said. "And we lose, just as many in the summer months as we do in the winter months. Almost five years on the streets, I found it more difficult to survive during the summer months, than I did in the winter months."
Andrea Bledsoe is Young's ex-wife. She didn't know that he overcame homelessness after they parted ways 40 years ago. Now, they're engaged again, after recently reconnecting on Facebook.
"I was sorry to know that he had gone through that," Bledsoe said. "It prompted me to learn more about what it really takes to get off the street. Donate where you can to organizations like, Home Street Homes, who are out in the field on a daily basis, doing jobs that no one else wants to do and doing so without drawing a salary. They just do it because of their compassion for the homeless."
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