Officials preparing to evict homeless from camp near Fort Negley - WSMV News 4

Officials preparing to evict homeless from camp near Fort Negley

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Dozens of homeless people who live near Fort Negley face eviction.

Early Friday morning, Metro crews arrived with heavy machinery to clear out brush along the path leading to a homeless camp.

To the average person, the woods are part of Fort Negley Park. But the homeless who navigate the hidden trails know each leads to a different village with its own name, including Rabbit Hole, the Gulch, Far Point Station and Eagle’s Nest Landing.

All could be knocked down in the next several days if the city clears out the homeless camp.

“Streets and sidewalks is not the answer,” said Chris Scott, captain of the Eagle’s Nest Landing homeless camp. “They’re going to dump 50 people with absolutely no place to go onto the streets.”

Scott has lived at the homeless camp for six years.

“A lot of these people who aren’t here right now, it’s because they left, it’s because they work,” he said. “They’re trying to get back to mainstream society. This gave them a place to start.”

The Metro Parks Department recently issued eviction notices, giving the residents 72 hours to leave.

Homeless advocate and co-founder of Open Table Nashville Lindsey Krinks came to help.

“The parks department told us that today they’re clearing the brush and Monday they’ll be back with dumpsters,” Krinks said. “Sometime next week, they’ll run Bobcats up here and remove all the homeless people that are left.”

Krinks watched as parks department staff cut down the trails to make room for the pending eviction.

“We would like more transparency on their end and we are asking for transparency so we can prepare the residents and prepare ourselves for what’s going to happen,” Krinks said.

“This is something that is out of the ordinary and out of the norm of any sort of park operation,” said Tommy Lynch, Metro parks director.

Lynch said he is sympathetic and wants to take a moment to meet with more groups about a solution. But he said the parks department ultimately can’t be responsible for the camps.

“We are going to stop and take a deep breath and hold on before we make any definitive final action,” Lynch said.

For now, residents of the homeless camp said they’re waiting and hoping for help.

“Until they have somewhere to go, we are going to keep fighting this,” Krinks said.

Lynch said he hopes to be able to postpone the eviction to talk to more people about housing options.

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