By Dora McCann Guerreiro
Keeping America’s Finest City both clean and safe is a vital public function provided for residents, businesses, and tourists. An adopted guiding principle for the East Village Association (EVA), works with multiple Downtown community partnerships for the implementation, review, and needed scalability of clean and safe services.
Downtown San Diego Partnership: Clean & Safe Program
Operating as a Property and Business Improvement District (PBID), funded through property tax assessments, the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP) Clean & Safe Program is responsible for providing enhanced cleaning and security services to the six Downtown neighborhoods of the East Village, Gaslamp, Marina, Columbia, Civic Core, and Cortez.
The 56 Clean & Safe maintenance ambassadors provide 24/7 removal of trash, graffiti, stickers, posters and flyers services; the sweeping and power-washing of sidewalks; landscaping, tree planting, and lighting-source enhancement; and the operation and maintenance of the public doggie bag stations. Specifically, 12 ambassadors are dedicated solely to the East Village neighborhood due to our 130-block super-size and scale of demographics!
Clean & Safe safety ambassadors complement local law enforcement efforts, by serving as an extra set of “eyes and ears” for businesses and property owners, authorized to respond to called-in service requests. See something unusual? Worried about the well-being of a passer-byer? Not feeling safe and need a safe escort walk? Or just notice a broken tree-grate? Fill out the information on the website form downtownsandiego.org/clean-and-safe or call Clean & Safe directly at 619-234-8900 for all non-emergency situations.
Clean & Safe homeless outreach coordinators serve as the homeless outreach team that also work with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) to conduct outreach efforts and connect homeless individuals to available resources. Since the program’s inception, 2,436 individuals have been reunified with their families! And with the renewal of dedicated public funding, outreach and reunification programs can be continued!
Regional Task Force on the Homeless
The Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH) is a public-private regional stakeholder group that provides comprehensive data and trusted analysis for regional efforts in identifying, implementing, and supporting efforts to prevent and alleviate homelessness. The RTFH provides technical assistance, ongoing training, and critical data reports, whereas EVA uses these quantified metrics to work with the city and county to pursue right-sized homeless solutions vs. the right-now. Thank you to the East Village Councilman Chris Ward (District 3) for his leadership as the task force’s chairman!
The San Diego Point-In-Time (PIT) Count is just one RTFH responsibility, managing the annual volunteer-staffed homeless persons count. The 2019 count is scheduled for Jan. 25, 4-8 a.m., and will provide a better understanding of the current state and scope of San Diego homelessness. This year, advanced technologies are assisting with the count to include drones and helicopters outfitted with heat-infrared detection technology; and a SDPD helicopter equipped with thermal imaging equipment, to communicate with ground crew volunteers. In 2018, San Diego County reported the fourth largest homeless population in the nation, which is weighted in helping the region compete for critical national and state homeless eradication funding opportunities.
San Diego Police Department
And aside from their numerous partnership efforts, EVA thanks SDPD, who maintain community peace and order by fostering the highest level of trust and safety. In September 2018, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report named San Diego as the safety big city in the United States. Thank you to Marlo Woods, the East Village community relations officer, monthly SDPD report-outs at the first Thursday of every month Public East Village Board Meetings at 4 p.m., at the San Diego Central Library, Neil Morgan Auditorium, numerous stakeholder meeting participation, and daily support services.
Aug. 6 will be the annual SDPD National Night Out, which is a national program intended to strengthen the neighborhood spirit and police-community relations by spending the evening outdoors with neighbors, friends, and the local policing force. More details to come!
And for all East Village events, please visit the EVA calendar at eastvillagesandiego.com/calendar. EVA extends a sincere thank you to all three of the above organizations for their combined East Village Clean & Safe efforts every day. For more information and questions on EVolving East Village, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.