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'Something needs to be done': Hermitage residents demand action on homeless squatters

Homeless squatter in Hermitage, Tennessee
Homeless squatter in Hermitage, Tennessee
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In the High Cost of Homelessness, those living in Hermitage want to see action after dealing with squatters in the area.

Last month, a man and his dog were living in a parking lot off Lebanon Pike before getting kicked off by police. He later just found a new location to take over and another...and another, which is why some say we aren’t getting to the root cause of the homeless issue. Instead, we are just going around in circles.

Hermitage residents say they now have become used to the common squatters in the area.

In early May however, Brittany McCann sounded the alarm and reported the man who was squatting in and around her neighborhood.

“The trash they’re leaving for property owners, the waste that they’re leaving around everywhere," McCann says. "Something needs to be done."

After McCann and others made several calls to city leaders, a trespassing waiver was finally issued, and the man was kicked off.

Just last week, another FOX 17 News viewer said he was back at it again. This time it was in a Goodwill parking lot a few miles up the road. He eventually was kicked off again says McCann.

McCann says he likes to hide in shopping centers during the day and this week he found a home in the Target parking lot off Lebanon Pike.

The man wrote about harassment on his trailer with phrases like “They are backing me into a corner” and “People constantly take my photo.”

"To track someone down every single time to tell them repeatedly the same thing is ridiculous," McCann adds. “If you’re homeless you deserve better. We are going to offer you the support that you need and if you don’t take it – you need to find some place that will support your lifestyle."

FOX 17 News drove out to the Target location on Monday to try and find the homeless man to talk with him and see if he has been offered help or if he even wants help but, we could not find him.

The Metro Homeless Impact Division issued the following statement on our story:

"As you can imagine, this description fits many that we work with who are experiencing homelessness. You have me locations but no name, car description, pet description, nor the man's physical description. Giving multiple locations doesn't narrow it down nearly enough, as many of our neighbors often move locations and sleep in vehicles. It would be nearly impossible to pin point exactly who this is.

In general, I can tell you that if someone experiencing homelessness needs help - whether we first encounter them or they are referred to us- we always offer our support and make every effort to connect them to wraparound services and enroll them in Coordinated Entry, our housing pipeline. We always partner with a couple of agencies who help care for and provide services for pets of our unhoused neighbors.

Like many of us, our pets are our family and need love, attention and care also."

For more reports like this on the High Cost of Homelessness, click here.

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