The majority of the homeless who frequent Freeman Park are clients of the Fourth and Hope homeless shelter. The shelter provides overnight beds for up to 73 individuals as well as three meals a day. The shelter is currently open from seven days a week from 4:00 pm to 7:00 am, and clients are not allowed to stay on premises during daytime hours (except for noontime meals and for four hours one-day-a-week for showers and laundry).
With the pending closure of Freeman Park to accommodate the construction of the Downtown Hotel Project, the City is working to provide several options for homeless who currently frequent the park. The goal is to minimize the displacement of homeless individuals to other neighborhood parks during the hotel construction project, and beyond.
- The City is working with Fourth and Hope to expand shelter services to include daytime services five days / week. Expanding services at the shelter, to coincide with the closure of Freeman Park, is intended to address the problem of homeless gravitating to the park when the shelter is not open.
- The City is also exploring the possibility of identifying another location where homeless who currently frequent Freeman Park may choose to locate, both during the daytime as well as for limited overnight stay. This is concept is partially to address the few individuals who sleep in and around Freeman Park.
- Finally, as the Downtown Hotel Project will result in the demolition of the Freeman Park restroom as well as the building that formerly housed the Toy Library, the city expects Freeman Park to be less attractive as a place for homeless to congregate when the park is reopened - to the extent that homeless individuals are attracted to Freeman Park due to the presence of these facilities