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Park and Recreation Leaders Gather in Los Angeles to Tackle Homelessness in America

Source: National Recreation and Park Association

Three-day event organized by National Recreation and Park Association and City of Los Angeles

Ashburn, Va. (Jan. 24, 2017) —  Park and recreation leaders from across the country will convene in Los Angeles Jan. 25-27 to address the role of parks and recreation in solving the nation’s homelessness crisis. Organized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, the three-day NRPA Innovation Lab titled:Homelessness in Parks will cover the innovative ways park and recreation agencies nationwide are working together with federal, state and city agencies and non-profits to end homelessness in the U.S. 

“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.”

A variety of topics will be discussed during the event, including:

  • The state of homelessness in America, and what federal, state and city agencies across the nation are doing to address homelessness
  • How park and recreation departments across the nation are working under city mandates and across agencies to end homelessness
  • Best practices from park and recreation agencies on how they’re meeting their missions of providing safe, accessible park and recreation services for all users

The keynote speaker for the event is Nan Roman, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Other speakers include the following representatives from the City of Los Angeles:  

  • Brenda Shockley, Deputy Mayor, Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity
  • Barbara Romero, Deputy Mayor, Mayor’s Office of Community Services
  • Alisa Orduna, Homelessness Policy Director, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Gina Di Domenico, Supervising Deputy City Attorney, Homeless Engagement Response Team (HEART)
  • Misty Sanford, Commissioner, City of Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Parks Commission  
  • Peter Lynn, Executive Director, LA Homeless Services Authority
  • Mark Casanova, Director, Homeless Health Care
  • Vikki Vickers, Community Advocate and Speaker, Corps for Supportive Housing Speak Up! Program

“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 Michael Shull, General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks. “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.”

A copy of the agenda is available here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit

To learn more about Los Angeles Recreation and Parks, visit

About The National Recreation and Park Association 
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 52,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

About The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
The Department of Recreation and Parks maintains over 16,000 acres of parkland with over 430 neighborhood and regional parks, 184 recreation centers and facilities, 368 children’s play areas, 321 tennis courts, 256  ball fields, 31 senior centers, 13 golf courses, nine dog parks, 25 skate parks, 61 swimming pools, 12 museums and an urban forest of one million trees and 92 miles of hiking trails. The Department also provides after school enrichment programs for children and teens including music, dance, and athletic programs. For more information about the Department of Recreation and Parks, please visit

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