North Knoxville home and business owners reject more homeless services

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Home and business owners in North Knoxville say they don't want more charities in their backyard. Neighbors say Broadway isn't the "mission district".

Lauren Rider is cleaning dishes in the Old North Knoxville home she and her husband renovated. She's also trying to clean up her neighborhood.

"The real root problem isn't being addressed," said Rider, referring about so many homeless services in one place.

"There are other areas of the city they can locate in and put recipients in other areas where services are like veterans services or social security," she continued.

KARM serves 1000 meals a day and offers shelter. The Salvation Army is across the street. Many other businesses from around the region also bring their charity to the area.

Rider says if you're an organization thinking about starting a charity do it in another part of town.

"What we're really lacking is someone to address their healthcare needs," said Rider. "Mental healthcare and physical health care is needed."

It's a headache for business owners too because just driving down the street turns people off. Cleaning up after the homeless is a full time job.

"They have to go out and pick up trash wrappers and cups to keep the place looking good. I'm one of those," said Vinyard Floor Covering Owner Jim Wright.

Not to mention panhandling is keeping customers away and now business owners are calling for a change.

"It's just the concentration of services and they need to be dispersed. It would certainly help the businesses in this area," added Wright.


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