Tyler Whetstone Knoxville News Sentinel Published 10:02 AM EDT Mar 12, 2019 Monday night’s meeting of the Vestal Community Organization had nearly three times the normal crowd show up — many to talk about the neighborhood’s homeless population. Some of the members were angry, saying the population on the south side of the river has increased in recent months ever since the city closed the space underneath the Broadway bridge. Maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t, said representatives from the city. It’s hard to tell. The community, comprised of homes and businesses immediately south of the Tennessee River on the west side of Chapman Highway, has always had a homeless population of some sort. Closing the space under the bridge The city of Knoxville spent roughly $190,000 a year for several years cleaning up the homeless encampments under the Broadway bridge. To make the area safer, more accessible and to save money, the city’s Office on Homelessness helped to turn a portion of the underpass into a homeless “day park” for roughly $200,000 last year. More: Knoxville homeless ‘day park’ open a month only part of solution The 20,000-square-foot designated “low-barrier” space opened in December and allows people to access basic amenities like bathrooms,… Read full this story
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