I serve on the board for Community Housing Partnership of Williamson County. The main task of this non-profit organization is to provide affordable housing for low-income, elderly, and disabled citizens. At our board meeting last night, one of the board members brought everyone up to date on a homeless action committee meeting that had taken place. So my surprise, she said there were more than 100 homeless teenagers in Williamson County. “Homeless” is defined as someone who sleeps on the ground, in the car, or in a shelter. The problem is, there is not one single homeless shelter in Williamson County. In other words, there is no where for these teenagers to go.
Williamson County is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. In 2009, the median household income in Williamson County was $85,403 (the median for TN was $41,725). Yet, if you bring up the idea of providing some type of home or shelter for the homeless, with city/county officials you hear nothing but silence. Among the citizens you hear, “Not in my back yard.”
But these homeless kids are our kids, and they are our responsibility. We need to wake up and address this problem before it gets worse!