Glencliff neighbors concerned about tiny house community for homeless

(Courtesy: The Village at Glencliff)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Neighbors in the Glencliff area are not giving up in the fight against dozens of tiny homes being developed in their neighborhood, now uncovering police reports they say back their concerns of safety.

The Village at Glencliff is designed to be a place for homeless and nearly-homeless people to live. It’s on a piece of land owned by the Glencliff United Methodist Church in south Nashville.

While the groundbreaking occurred a couple of weeks ago, neighbors who oppose the project hope to still stop it.

“This was the wrong place for this. This was a land grab,” said William Durkin, who lives in the neighborhood.

Despite opposition from some neighbors, the ground has been dug up, marking the beginning of construction for 22 micro homes on the land.

(Photo: WKRN)

“They took over a fading church in an economically struggling neighborhood,” he explained.

Durkin is the Vice President of the Glencliff Neighborhood Association and he’s part of a community that has said from the beginning they aren’t giving up in the fight against the development

“To the very end, we have to.”

Now they have uncovered police reports tied to the nonprofit, dating back to 2013. Durkin says the reports show that a registered sex offender, frequented two houses in the area at the direction of Open Table Nashville (O.T.N.) executive director Ingrid McIntyre.

“A registered sex offender was housed under the direction of O.T.N. in proximity to 2 schools. My house is right between the two, and my child it’s unacceptable,” said Durkin.

Another incident report states O.T.N. as a business operation at the co-founder’s residence and involved theft of O.T.N. checks by a homeless individual.

(Photo: WKRN)

“These reports go to the very heart of our concerns about security issues here and basic common sense approached about this development here

Durkin says safety for the neighborhood, regarding who would be staying at the tiny homes is at the top of his concerns.

“Safety, safety. We can be naive and treat the homeless like lost puppies, but they are human beings, and they come along with all the crises that come along with human beings. No one here hates the homeless. Everyone here would love to help; however, this organization and the way they’ve operated its not going to work,” he told News 2.

We reached out to O.T.N. about the reports. They released the following statement:

We are writing this letter in response to allegations against Ingrid McIntyre in a post on the 16th District’s Facebook page from John Gresham on October 19th at 12:12pm.

Open Table Nashville (OTN) was headquartered at Ingrid’s house from October 2010 to January 2015 when office space was obtained. As a homeless outreach nonprofit, the vast majority of OTN’s work happens in the community and because Ingrid’s home address was listed as the main address for OTN, volunteers and people seeking services would often show up there. The main address for OTN was changed to a P.O. Box in mid-2016.

During 2013, an individual who received our services stole OTN checks and later cashed them for $4,200 as Mr. Gresham states. Proper complaints were filed and he was charged and went to jail for forgery. The person who stole these checks has since passed away. When another person receiving our services attempted to break into 210 Morton Ave. in 2015, a police report was filed.

OTN is not responsible for how other people in the community use their private property. OTN is also not responsible for what people receiving our services say to police officers.

Part of OTN’s mission is to “journey with the marginalized.” This involves caring for people who are sick and in despair, as Mr. Gresham pointed out. As a faith-based nonprofit, our faith compels us to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit those in prison (Matthew 25:35-36). In addition to living out this kind of hospitality in our daily lives, all OTN staff members also abide by our “Outreach Code of Ethics.” When people receiving our services do not respect the boundaries we set, we work together and involve others when needed to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved.

We hope this provides greater clarity.

The people who oppose the Village at Glencliff, as well as those who are undecided, will be gathering MOnday night at 6 p.m. at Wingate Church of Christ to learn more about the law suit that some neighbors have filed against the Metro board of zoning appeals.