An article came out today in the Tennessean about the residents of tent city and what happened to them after the flood. This is what I wrote in that paper’s comment section. I didn’t list everything that was wrong with that article, although I probably should have.
– Oh, you poor Tennessean, and you Tennessean readers. This was a sloppily written article, though not really the fault of the writer. Newspapers just don’t pay for the time it takes to investigate and write stories properly. So the author had to throw together this piece way too fast, and because of that we get a skewed perspective of the homeless, and what happened to them when tent city flooded.
Let me clarify a couple things. First off, Rachel Hester runs Room In The Inn, and as far as I know, Room In The Inn has no outreach program. All their funding is used for in-house programs, so she would have no experience with the residents and events that took place at tent city. It doesn’t make any sense that she be quoted for this article. Also, I have known of homeless encampments scattered all over the greater Nashville area for as long as I’ve been in Nashville, some 30 years now. A big deal is made about “tent city” only because of its proximity to downtown. When people complain about homelessness, the Mayor and chief of police make a “show of force” on tent city because it’s the most politically expedient thing to do. One last point, being homeless is the most awful, painful, degrading way to live, and people get caught up in homelessness only because they don’t have the means to get out of it by their own volition. And, it does require help from an outside source for them to break the cycle of homelessness.