Number of homeless single fathers on the rise in Davidson County

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – According to city officials, Nashville’s homeless population is growing and for one group in particular, finding shelter is especially challenging.

There are a limited number of shelters that will accept homeless, single fathers with children.

News 2 met 36-year-old Joseph Pietro in East Nashville Wednesday.

He had been sleeping in his car with his 2-year-old son in the backseat.

(Photo: WKRN)

“He’s crying in the middle of the night,” said Pietro. “I’m not getting no rest because he’s crying.”

Pietro says he’s been homeless since November but has stayed with family and friends for nearly a year.

Now, his resources have run out so he went to find shelter but the places that allow fathers with children were full.

His son has developed bronchitis, Pietro says, from sleeping in the car.

“I know I’m not the only one going through this,” he said. “I know other fathers who got their kids in custody who are trying to make it here in this city and they’re not getting no support.”

Safe Haven Family Shelter says it’s seen an increase in the number of homeless dads needing help for themselves and their children.

While News 2 was shooting video of the facility, a homeless father came up to talk but couldn’t speak on camera.

Metro Social Services said it also has seen an increase in homeless fathers with children.

For Pietro, with few places to turn, he just has to wait.

“It’s breaking me down. I don’t know where to turn and I feel like the city is letting me down now.”

Metro officials say more shelters open during the winter months and Metro opens emergency shelters during inclement weather.

Click here for a link to a list of resources for those experiencing homelessness in Tennessee.