Loneliness and social isolation have become a major public health concern throughout the United States and in many parts of the world. In fact, the issue has been called a “loneliness epidemic” by some experts.
People experience loneliness and isolation for a variety of reasons, including living alone, moving to a new city, lack of social support, and social anxiety or shyness. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the problem, with many people experiencing prolonged periods of isolation due to quarantine and social distancing measures, or as many individuals have begun working remotely from home.
Spring Parc, a Wilkinson apartment community in Dallas, Texas, which prides itself as a top-notch pet friendly community is addressing this crisis in a variety of ways.
As part of an annual campaign, the staff at the property has chosen to focus their efforts on four-legged friends in need by providing financial assistance to local agencies: PAWerful Rescue and the City of Denton Animal Shelter.
Pets have proven provide a powerful cure for loneliness by providing companionship, unconditional love, as well as a sense of purpose and responsibility. Simply being around a pet can help reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety. A portion of Spring Parc’s effort has been directed at caring for and rescuing senior dogs, dogs with disabilities, and those in need of extreme medical attention or hospice by providing support to PAWerful Rescue, a local Dallas agency providing care to pets looking for their forever home.
Last fall Spring Parc hosted its first adoption event when several pets were adopted by residents of the community. Brittany Todd, the community manager at Spring parc shares “We know how much joy pets bring to their owners, and we thought by allowing our residents the opportunity to adopt one of their own at no cost to them would be a great way to show our appreciation to everyone within our community.” “The pet adoption was a major success, I think the dogs may have been in the office for less than 30 minutes before being adopted. I actually saw one of them at the property a few weeks ago all grown up at the dog park!”
Pets offer unique opportunities for social interaction that can help foster connections with other pet owners and people in the community. To provide a better venue for those opportunities, Spring Parc recently added additional amenities to accommodate their furry friends within the community with an all new “bark park” enclosed off-leash play area and a “paw spa” pet grooming station. Brittany adds “We love our pets at Spring Parc, so much so that we created a brand-new paw spa and bark park to better suit the needs of our four legged friends.”
Resident pet owners have also been provided with an opportunity to allow their pets more room to explore outside, new ground floor enclosures attached to residential units were installed, something that is uncommon in apartment communities. These new enclosures have been a huge hit with residents and their furry friends.
As a part of fulfilling one of our core values, Building Beyond Business, Wilkinson encourages its team to get involved with these types of programs by encouraging teams to work together to identify addressable needs affecting resident members of their apartment communities and at home. In 2022, a variety of agencies were selected by members of on site and corporate teams addressing food security, homelessness, housing, domestic violence, social interaction, opportunities for kids, dependency issues, and others. A list of the many agencies and links to their websites can be found in this article; Teams Giving Back