Metro Council member proposes moving new Titans stadium funding to DCS

Metro Council Member Bob Mendes is introducing a resolution that would move $50 million from the Titans stadium funding to DCS.
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 5:04 PM EST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - An audit of the Department of Children’s Services found Tennessee’s children are sleeping under desks in state office buildings.

Now, Metro Nashville City Council member is proposing to move funds from the new football stadium for the Tennessee Titans to DCS.

Images revealed in the Tennessee Comptroller’s audit show some of Tennessee’s most vulnerable children are forced to sleep under desks and inside small rooms of state office buildings.

The pictures stuck with Metro Council Member Bob Mendes, who now wants the city to help.

“We should be first in line to help solve the problem,” Mendes said. “And if the state can use some money to make better facilities, then that’s a better use of the funds.”

On Tuesday he plans to propose a resolution to move $50 million from the Titans’ $500 million in new stadium funding to DCS. The $500 million is part of the funds the Tennessee General Assembly voted to provide for the stadium.

WSMV4 asked Mendes if money is the way to solve the Department of Children’s Service’s problems.

“I don’t know if it’s enough, but certainly, it’s a fair amount for Nashville to contribute to some and solve the problem,” Mendes said.

On Wednesday, in a hearing with state lawmakers and DCS, Commissioner Margie Quin said the pandemic is the reason kids are sleeping in office buildings. That’s when shelters closed and foster families refused to house some kids. She said DCS is working on a solution.

“We’re attempting to get all children out of offices at this point and we have a pretty aggressive goal,” Quin said.

Mendes knows not all council members may agree on the resolution. If it’s passed, the $50 million from state bonds will be paid by tourists, not taxpayers.

“Since the mayor says it won’t be our families paying for this stadium, it’ll be tourists, then let’s get the tourists to pay for this too,” Mendes said.

It’s a resolution Mendes hopes will spread to other cities, but he hopes Nashville should feel obligated to care for the kids of Tennessee.

Metro Council will hear this resolution for the first time on Tuesday. That’s also the day it plans to pass a resolution about the East Bank development and the new Titans stadium.