The Role of Social Contact in Public Perceptions of Homelessness in Parks and Public Spaces

Lauren E. Mullenbach, Nick A.D. Pitas, Benjamin Hickerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Unsheltered homelessness–in which people reside in parks or on streets–is on the rise and poses a challenge for municipal parks and recreation agencies. Simultaneously, public opinion on homelessness has softened in recent years and may be misaligned with park agency practices. This study measured public attitudes on homelessness and on park agency involvement in addressing homelessness, using intergroup contact theory. Prior experience with homelessness was related to support of homelessness solutions and positive ideology toward homelessness. Support of homelessness solutions and positive ideology toward homelessness were related to support of the involvement of parks agencies in addressing homelessness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Homelessness
  • intergroup contact
  • local government
  • parks
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Public Administration

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