by Mark Bellinger
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. – A homeless camp in Davidson County has stirred up some controversy. Many of the people who live near it don't like the trash.
The camps sit in the woods near Vietnam Veterans Boulevard and Conference Drive.
Eric Sams discovered them while taking a hike.
"It was a beautiful day and I thought, ‘you know, I'm going to hike this trail,’ and when I got out of my car and started going down the trail I stopped," he said.
There was trash scattered over a large area.
"This is an environmental hazard. This is just. I mean, how can somebody live like this,” said Sams.
There were three tents and a lot of trash.
Sams said two homeless couples live there.
About 25 yards away, there were two more tents and a lot of garbage.
"I guess they're trying to scrape up some money for food or something. Who knows?" said Sams.
A few days ago Sams confronted them about the trash, and he recorded part of the conversation on his cell phone.
Sams told the man, "I mean, you all living back here, that's up to you all, but all this trash that's ending up in the woods that's just wrong."
The homeless man answered, "We've been trying to clean it up, but we ran out of garbage bags and I haven't been able to get a shovel."
Sams gave them garbage bags and groceries hoping they'd clean it up. He said the trash hasn't been touched.
Davidson County officials said there was nothing they can do because the camps sit on private property.
The land is owned by a real estate investment company called JWM6 Incorporated.
A lawyer representing the owner said he had no idea the camps exist, and he lives outside the country.
Sams said he'll keep trying to get something done.
"I'm thinking birds are going to come down and eat this stuff and die. I'm thinking squirrels, rabbits and deer. I'm thinking of Mother Nature. Obviously, these people don't care about Mother Nature at all," he said.
Davidson County’s law director said since it's private property it's really up to the owner to get something done.
It was unclear if that will happen.