One approach to increasing opportunities for physical activity in low-resource communities is through the implementation of shared use agreements. Entities with large space for activity offer to make that space available to other organizations and the broader community to host different types of programs. Schools are consistent shared use site partners, and the Cleveland Municipal School District has a shared use policy in place.
Shared use agreements are an affordable way of increasing opportunities for physical activity in low-resource communities where there may not many obvious places to play or exercise. Between public schools and faith-based organizations, there are a variety of recreational facilities in our neighborhoods—gymnasiums, meeting rooms, playgrounds, fields, courts, and tracks—where people can engage in physical activity. Unfortunately, these spaces are often locked and inaccessible to the community due to concerns about resources, maintenance, security, and liability.
Shared use agreements open the doors to these facilities in under-served communities. The PRCHN is building a Shared Use database with information pertaining to the REACH initiative's 22 target census tracts. The database will be used to understand and disseminate the inventory of shared use agreements in each neighborhood. It will also be used as a referral tool for providers who care for patients who live in the target neighborhoods.