Dec 26 2018
02:33 pm
By: michael kaplan

Still no answer from Rogero's office. In the meantime, the city has created a mess.

michael kaplan's picture

Here's one on my block that

Here's one on my block destroyed recently by homeless living in it without electricity or heat. So they just lit a fire to cook and keep warm.


michael kaplan's picture

I've been informed by

I've been informed by neighbors that homeless persons are living in crawl spaces under boarded-up houses. These are unfinished, unheated spaces. It’s likely they are cooking and keeping warm by lighting fires.

If Trump thinks immigration across the southern border is a national emergency, the homeless situation in Knoxville (and other cities) should be considered a municipal emergency. The idea of evicting homeless from under bridges and scattering them through close-in residential neighborhoods - endangering the health and safety of residents - seems beyond absurd to me.

My neighborhood is strewn with Kroger shopping carts, some empty and some filled with used clothing and other household debris. Apparently, residents without vehicles regularly walk their groceries home, then abandon the carts. Maybe Kroger should be providing folding grocery carts for these folks.

A solution might be to include emergency dormitory space as part of the new Justice Center complex at the St. Mary’s site. I don’t like the idea of building a jail in the middle of a residential neighborhood and next to a high school, but as long as it is happening, some positive (i.e. non-punitive) programmatic element might be included.

barker's picture

I'm shocked!

Homeless people seeking shelter in boarded-up houses? That's been going on for decades all over Knoxville. Quite a few houses in Fort Sanders have burned down because squatters' fires grew out of control.

The city has absolutely no obligation to allow people to camp under the bridge over Broadway. In fact, the city has an obligation to keep people from camping there.

Homeless people need homes (duh!), not space under a bridge. Permanent supportive housing has proven to work, in other cities and in Knoxville (see Flenniken Landing). That's a much better solution than a temporary dorm but requires political will and a financial commitment.

As for the grocery carts, welcome to urban living. In my neighborhood (Belle Morris), lots of people without cars walk to and from Kroger or Walgreens to shop for necessities. For the most part, they are good neighbors trying to make ends meet.

michael kaplan's picture

welcome to urban living

welcome to urban living

I've lived in cities all my life. Stealing carts from Kroger and then abandoning them on public streets are, I would think, crimes. Growing up in New York, every family owned an inexpensive folding metal shopping cart that we wheeled to and from the grocery. Maybe you can explain why that is no longer a norm ...

And what I reported to have heard was not homeless living in boarded-up homes, but rather under those homes, in the crawl spaces.

barker's picture


I didn't say it was legal, but it's pretty common. I live near the Kroger on Broadway and see carts on the streets of my neighborhood from time to time. Some of my neighbors who walk to the store have their own carts, some just carry bags in their hands.

Many homeless people will sleep wherever they can find shelter. I'm not surprised in the least that some are sleeping in crawl spaces. It's out of the wind and rain. Of course, it would be better if they went to a shelter where they could get food and case management, and even better if they could get permanent supportive housing.

Ann Malone's picture

There will be no jail at the St. Mary's site

There will be no jail at the St. Mary's site. This will house the KPD and KFD offices along with City Court and the Pension Board. That has been made very clear to anyone paying attention. The city does not operate a jail.

Facts and truth do matter. You insult the intelligence of Knoxviews readers by spreading lies such as this and other falsehoods such as the nonsense you earlier posted that the City was moving KARM to Magnolia.

michael kaplan's picture

A $40 million budget sounds

A $40 million budget sounds like it could provide 200,000 s.f. of space. Is the program for this project somewhere online?

barker's picture


The $40 million budget (actually, it's estimated to cost close to $47 million when the demolition work is factored in) is expected to result in more than 500,000 square feet of renovated space for KPD, KFD and the Pension Board, plus a new Municipal Court building (no estimate on the square footage yet). We've reported this at Compass. They're still doing their due diligence, so the numbers, both of square footage and cost, could change.

Knoxoasis's picture

It's everywhere.

It's everywhere.

bizgrrl's picture

Liberal ideology?

Liberal ideology?

michael kaplan's picture

Yes, it's everywhere. Good

Yes, it's everywhere. Good article, thanks for linking.

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