Homeless Bill passes TN Senate and House

Homeless react to bill
Homeless react to bill
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 9:02 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A new bill passed the Tennessee House and Senate Wednesday.

Proposed by House Representative Ryan Williams, HB0978 will make camping illegal in certain areas around the state of Tennessee. This mainly affects the homeless population of Nashville.

“I love Nashville. I ain’t from here, but I’m making Nashville my home,” said James Brown Jr., also known as JB who typically carries his sign, a plea for the gratitude he relies on to get by.

Brown is one of the thousands of homeless people across Nashville and said he feels like he is a part of a community.

“Where they gon sleep? They gotta sleep somewhere. Mister politician are you going to provide a place for them?” Brown said to News4. “All of us out here ain’t bad. But there’s a lot of them that are. But look here, we have bad in everything brother.”

This bill recently gained the public’s attention, according to WVLT, after Senator Frank Nicely said that homeless people could aspire not just to find a home but also lead historic lives by comparing them to the life experiences of Adolf Hitler.

“I haven’t given you all a history lesson in a while, and I wanted to give you a little history on homelessness,” Niceley said. “Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years, Hitler lived on the streets and practiced how to connect with the masses and then went on to lead a life that got him in the history books.”

The following are examples of what would now be classified as criminal offenses:

- Solicit from the roadway, shoulder, berm, or right-of-way of a controlled-access highway or entrance or exit ramp of such highway

- Camp on the shoulder, berm, or right-of-way of a state or interstate highway

- Camp under a bridge or overpass, or within an underpass, of a state or interstate highway

The bill will now move onto the Governor’s office to potentially be signed, making it an official law.

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