August 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40

HOMELESSNESS
bach (University of Oklahoma),
Nick Pitas (University of Illinois),
and Ben Hickerson (University of
North Carolina - Greensboro) conducted
a nationwide survey reaching
a representative cross-section
of the U.S. public.
Among other things, their survey
asked three timely questions to better
understand public perception related
to homelessness in parks: (1) What
is the duty of park and recreation
departments to help address homelessness?
(2) Are park and recreation
departments equipped to address
homelessness? and (3) What specific
actions should park and recreation
departments pursue to help?
Duty and Capacity to Help
In general, the public did not view
park and recreation departments as
particularly obligated nor sufficiently
resourced to help address homelessness.
Less than half agreed park
and recreation departments have a
duty (44 percent) and are equipped
(36 percent) to help (see Figure 1
below). Another quarter of respondents
(29 percent and 27 percent,
respectively) neither
agreed nor
disagreed with these statements,
indicating that many members of
Figure 1
the public do not have an opinion
one way or the other. Collectively,
it appears members of the public
do not see providing assistance to
persons experiencing homelessness
as a fundamental duty/responsibility
of park and recreation agencies.
Directors of urban park and recreation
departments tend to agree.
According to NRPA's 2017 Homelessness
in Parks report (tinyurl.
com/y2f5z2jn) based on a survey
of urban park and recreation directors,
only 11 percent indicated
their agency takes a leadership role
in their city's homelessness initiatives.
Directors were more likely
to say their agency is a partner or
resource (53 percent), while a sizable
36 percent say their agency
plays no significant role. Among
the public and park and recreation
professionals, there appears to be a
general perception that homeless
assistance is not currently a core
mission or responsibility of park
and recreation departments.
Specific Strategies to Help
While recognizing that providing
homeless assistance is a peripheral
role for most park and recreation
agencies,
there remain numerous
ways - both big and small - that
agencies can and are providing support
to community members experiencing
homelessness. As direct
service providers to all members of
the community and maintainers of
public spaces, park and recreation
professionals are in a unique position
to engage with persons experiencing
homelessness more frequently
and more compassionately than
other units of local government. So,
considering this opportunity for impact,
what could agencies do to help
address homelessness?
The survey presented respondents
with 12 specific strategies agencies
could pursue to help address homelessness.
Respondents rated their
level of agreement with each strategy
(see Figure 2, p. 41). The results
indicate that despite not seeing this
as a core responsibility, individual
actions are more supported. In fact,
more than two out of three respondents
agreed that eight of the strategies
were appropriate ways park
and recreation departments could
help address homelessness.
The most agreed-upon strategies
were related to meeting immediate,
basic needs. These included providing
temporary shelter at facilities
during severe weather/temperatures
(76 percent agree/strongly agree)
and allowing access to hygiene facilities
during specific days/times
(75 percent). Park and recreation
departments across the country have
increasingly provided these kinds of
services, particularly in the aftermath
of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Partnering with law enforcement
(73 percent), conducting outreach
(73 percent) and training staff to
develop productive relationships
(72 percent) also were highly
agreed-upon strategies. Outreach
and authentic relationship-building
based on compassion and trust is the
40 Parks & Recreation | A UGUS T 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
https://tinyurl.com/y2f5z2jn https://tinyurl.com/y2f5z2jn

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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