Leaders of parks and recreation departments from around the country convened at a downtown Los Angeles hotel Wednesday for a three- day meeting aimed at solving the problem of homelessness in the United States.
The event at the Millennium Biltmore was organized by the National Recreation and Park Association in conjunction with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
“Homelessness in our parks is an issue that can’t be ignored,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “Every day, more and more people are being forced out of their homes and into our streets and local parks. Our goal is to understand how to better serve these individuals.”
The “Homelessness in Parks” NRPA Innovation Lab will cover “the innovative ways park and recreation agencies nationwide are working together with federal, state and city agencies and nonprofits to end homelessness in the U.S.,” according to organizers.
Guest speakers include Brenda Shockley, Los Angeles deputy mayor for economic opportunity, and Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
“The city of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is honored to partner with NRPA to bring together leaders in the park and recreation industry and collaboratively discuss approaches to address homelessness nationwide,” said LADRP General Manager Michael Shull.
“As stewards of our public parks, it is vital that we gather together to share ideas and focus on solutions to the homeless crisis while developing and maintaining safe and sustainable parks and recreation centers for all,” he said.
–City News Service