Homelessness is a complicated issue that affects virtually all cities large and small. This panel will explore how one downtown improvement district developed a holistic, data-driven approach to addressing homelessness in and around city parks, allowing park stakeholders to make more informed, purposeful decisions in helping unhoused individuals build a path to housing stability.
It will share the process of growing a small grassroots effort to a thriving initiative lauded by both the housed and unhoused park community. This story is complemented by results from a Canadian study highlighting how parks have a role to play in homelessness prevention and systems change.
- Understand the social problems related to homelessness in parks and other public spaces
- Identify opportunities to incorporate social supportive services, including mental wellness around park programing to address the needs of unhoused park patrons
- Explore ways to intentionally connect business interests and community relationships in and around parks while advancing a holistic approach to addressing homelessness that contributes to safe and healthy communities
- Identify opportunities for the parks sector to play a proactive role in homelessness prevention and systems change
- Learn strategies from parks professionals on ways to adopt inclusive design practices that support the dignity and well-being of unhoused people in parks