Standing beside the residents of Tent City

“Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.                                                          
Dear friends, children of God, we come to you on behalf of our brothers & sisters who live in Nashville’s largest homeless encampment, Tent City.  As most of you know Tent City was destroyed by the recent flood & while there was temporary sanctuary for our brothers & sisters in Red Cross shelters, churches & motels, that sanctuary is now gone & we have temporarily relocated our Tent City community to Antioch. Unfortunately, many of the Antioch/ Hickory Hollow/ Cane Ridge community have been less than welcoming & are actively organizing to displace the Tent City residents from their community, leaving them- again- with no place to call home save the streets, bridges, alleys & jails of Nashville.  Our friends who have been moved from one site to another to another are in the midst of their own exodus.  And as God led the Israelites out of wilderness, God will lead our brothers & sisters out of the bondage of a society that damns their very existence.  Stand with the least of these, God’s chosen ones, & show your support for the God given dignity which resides within every human soul; their lives may depend upon it, & our submission to the living God requires that we stand with the oppressed & the marginalized.
 
Tuesday, June 1st @ 5:30pm
ALL TENT CITY SUPPORTERS
210 Morton Ave
Come help organize for the community meeting on Thursday
Bring white T-shirts
Black T-shirt paint
White Flat Sheet
Poster Board
Markers
(bring a camping or yard chair or blanket)

Thursday, June 3rd @ 6:30pm
ALL TENT CITY SUPPORTERS
Living Word Community Church
Hickory Hollow Parkway

We will be posting updates here and through the Facebook group “Support for Tent City”.
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2 comments

  1. My name is Bobby Calvert and I would like to share what I personally know about tent city in Antioch. There are several port-a-johns for the residents to use and I was unable to find any evidence of people using the woods or surrounding areas as a restroom. The portable toilets are changed out on a regular schedule. I noticed a very large dumpster at the camp and I have observed many of the residents of tent city picking up after them selves and making an effort to keep the grounds neat and clean.

    The tents are all kept up and are in very good condition. Church groups visit the camp daily handing out hygiene items, cases of bottled water and other necessary items. There are also several groups that visit the tent city camp at least 2 times a week offering canceling, helping the residents to replace lost birth certificates, identification and also helping residents apply for housing, food stamps and other available assistance.

    Note: Each person in tent city must sign an agreement that they understand the rules of tent city and that they will do their very best to obey all of the rules at all times. This is one of the things that made me feel really at peace with the whole idea of a camp community in the Antioch area.

    These people are just trying to survive and most of them are smart for the most part and even a few of them are college graduates. They want to find housing and many of them have in the last few weeks. Everyday one or two are moving out of camp and into section eight housing, income based housing and etc. I have spoken to all of the residents and they are fun to chat with. They have many good stories, great personalities and friendly attitudes. Not the monsters that some would like to believe that these people are.

    If you would like more information about what’s really going on inside tent city in Antioch, please feel free to email me at: ninjabobusa@yahoo.com

  2. Soon Tent City in Antioch will be a thing of the past although it will leave behind many memories for everyone who has been touched by this unique place. Some will be glad that the campsite has been removed from their community while others will miss the safe refuge that they once called home. I know that I will miss the kind church groups that took time out of their lives to visit the camp with friendly conversation, meals, counseling, and readiness to help in anyway they could.

    Unlike the street or the Nashville Rescue Mission, Tent City will be remembered as a place where a campfire could bring together people from all walks of live. I personally enjoy sitting next to the fire and hearing all the fascinating stories told by the residents. I will miss the residents singing songs together while someone would play a guitar or other instrument. I will miss the group prayers filled with praise because God has provided them with shelter and food in their time of distress and need.

    Many harsh words have been spoken regarding Tent City in Antioch. Most of the things said are out of misunderstanding. These people are friendly and fun to talk to and they enjoy being visited. I don’t know of any Tent City resident who wishes to spend the rest of their live on the streets. Most of the residents want to live a productive live with a job, house, apartment, vehicle and etc. It must be stated that finding a job while homeless can be a very hard thing to do with the high unemployment rate and with a homeless person not having a phone or address when completing an application. Believe me many of them try and keep finding themselves at the same dead end.

    I would like to thank everyone who has came out to the Tent City and offered any kind of help for these people. Everything is greatly appreciated! Lets see if we can show some love and maybe find some employment opportunities, perhaps a new site for a camp/refuge or just good old fashion friendship to someone who may feel like they don’t have a true friend in the world. Lets let love be the strong force and give hate the back burner for a change. The world already has enough hate and prejudice! We are the ones who can make a difference so lets see what we can do by joining forces to offer a solution.

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