NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — White Orchid’s been across from Brookmeade Park before the homeless encampment even existed.
Now, the owner, Michael Bryan, says the area’s become dangerous for everyone.
“We deal with it on a daily basis with people coming in, soliciting. They’re obviously mentally ill, people on drugs,” says Bryan.
Bryan says the staff doesn’t feel safe and remembers the time he had someone sleep right outside his door overnight.
“So just having to clean up needles and human waste on our sidewalk is not something you wanna come into,” says Bryan.
Metro Council Member Thom Druffel represents the area Bryan’s in, along with many other community members and businesses affected by the homeless camp.
In response to frustrations, Druffel sent an email to his constituents.
The email reads:
“I know many of you share my frustration in the length of time that has passed to find a solution to the Brookmeade Park homeless camp. I have participated in ongoing committees and meetings and voted to allocate funds and hire personnel. We have a new Director of Homeless, Jay Servais, who has excellent credentials and a passion for the project. The city has the money and the manpower to address the situation and find a long-term solution. The mayor has been given all that is needed to house this population.”
“We’re looking at trying to get fifty to one hundred housed. I think that’s doable. That should be a doable number with what we’ve done so far,” says Druffel.
FOX 17 News reached out to the mayor's office for a response to that email, but are still waiting for an answer.
“To me, I think we’re past the point now of looking at it and saying we need the resources. I think we have the resources,” says Druffel.
Bryan’s also calling on city leaders to do more.
“Well, we got to this position because the problem was ignored and it starts with the leadership. It starts with Mayor Cooper and his administration,” says Bryan.
Bryan says it really comes down to safety, and people feeling comfortable in the community.
For more reports like this on the High Cost of Homelessness, click here.