August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38

Homelessness:
How Can I Help?
New perspectives on park and recreation
departments' role in addressing homelessness
By Austin Barrett and Allison Colman
A
cross the country, park and recreation agencies meet the needs
of their communities by providing numerous valued services,
such as opportunities for physical fitness, social connection, outof-school
programming, and the conservation of natural habitats
and environments. Beyond these, and many other well-recognized and
mission-driven services, park and recreation agencies are increasingly helping
community members experiencing homelessness and housing instability.
Homelessness
in the United
States continues to be a serious social
and public health issue; one that
is often an outcome of deeper societal
problems, such as the lack of
economic opportunity, the high cost
of housing, lack of access to quality
healthcare, systemic racism, domestic
violence, and substance use
and mental health disorder. Add in
recent challenges, such as the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic and
rising inflation/cost of living, and
the conditions for housing instability
become even more perilous for
millions of U.S. residents.
The U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD)
estimates more than half-a-million
people
experience
homelessness
on any given night. However,
it
is widely acknowledged that this
number undercounts the true scope
of homelessness and does not include
those living precariously in
multiple family households or residing
in hotels/motels. Regardless,
HUD estimates nearly 60 percent
of persons experiencing homelessness
reside in sheltered settings,
while the remaining 40 percent experience
unsheltered homelessness.
Along with sleeping in public spaces
downtown, vehicles or abandoned
buildings, public parks (in the open
or in more discrete encampments)
are a common place utilized by
community members experiencing
unsheltered homelessness.
As front-line
service providers
38 Parks & Recreation | A UGUS T 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
in communities across the United
States, park and recreation agencies
and professionals often are already
providing community members
experiencing
homelessness
with
basic needs (food, hygiene
facilities) and connection to other
networks of assistance. However,
homeless
assistance
isn't within
the primary mission scope for most
park and recreation departments.
Considering this, many park and
recreation professionals may be
asking themselves: What can and
should we be doing to assist persons
experiencing
homelessness?
Additionally,
as front-line service
providers attending to all members
of the community, professionals
also may be wondering what the
general public expects their agency
to do to be part of the solution.
New data shines a light on the
public's views on parks and recreation's
role in addressing homelessness
and which specific strategies
they believe agencies should pursue.
In 2021, Drs. Lauren Mullen

August 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2022 - Parks & Recreation

August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8a
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8b
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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