Attitudes Toward Park and Recreation Agency Actions in Support of People Experiencing Homelessness


  • Nicholas Andrew Pitas University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Lauren Mullenbach University of Oklahoma
  • Ben Hickerson University of North Carolina Greensboro



Homelessness, policy, public opinion, public parks and recreation



Park and recreation providers are increasingly called upon to interface with and serve an unhoused user population. However, park and recreation agency policies are often inconsistent with increasingly progressive societal attitudes toward the issue of homelessness and people experiencing homelessness. Despite the growing salience of this issue, there is a relative lack of information regarding attitudes toward agency actions intended to support people experiencing homelessness. In this note, we use panel survey data to provide descriptive information and group comparisons via independent samples t-tests that we believe will prove useful for practitioners, policy makers, and researchers in this context. Our results indicate that while respondents are largely supportive of this type of agency action, park users, younger people, and those who are more affluent and economically conservative are more supportive of actions intended to support people experiencing homelessness. 

Author Biographies

Nicholas Andrew Pitas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism

Lauren Mullenbach, University of Oklahoma

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability

Ben Hickerson, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Associate Professor, Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation





Research Notes