Adina Solomon, Next City
At least three days a week, Janika Robinson takes a walk around Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta and greets parkgoers.
For people she doesn’t know, Robinson introduces herself and lets them know why she’s here: to guide them to any resources they need.
Robinson is a case manager dedicated full-time to Woodruff Park, where she talks with the many people there who experience homelessness. She provides housing and social assistance and service referrals for anyone who approaches her.
“Your main objective is to build that relationship and to let them kind of come to you,” Robinson says. “When they come to you, that means they’re ready.”
Woodruff Park is one of the few parks nationwide that has its own case manager or social worker. Robinson became Woodruff’s first case manager in September 2018. Since then, she’s helped place 135 people in permanent housing and connected more than 1,000 others to social services.
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