As of Wednesday, August 1, the new Downtown Ambassador Program has officially been launched and our Ambassadors will be out on the streets ambassador’ing in downtown Orlando.
The Ambassador Program was launched to provide an on-the-street connection seven days a week to provide services ranging from assisting as safety escorts for workers and residents, helping visitors navigate their way to one of downtown’s many venues for an event, and “connecting the most vulnerable individuals to critical social services and curbing aggressive panhandling” – read, “working with homeless people.”
Ambassadors will be working closely with the Orlando Police and Fire Departments and the Health Care Center for the Homeless HOPE Team and will serve as an extension of the Downtown Clean Team to ensure downtown cleanliness.
All 17 ambassadors will be on foot, bikes, and make rounds in a designated vehicle. The team will start their days at 7 a.m., Monday–Friday, going as late as 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Their schedule is flexible and subject to change depending on downtown events and happenings. Those seeking services offered by the Ambassadors can call or text 407-902-4374.
This is Orlando’s second attempt at launching a program of Downtown Ambassadors in our urban core, after the first attempt was cut short during the Recession roughly ten years ago. The CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) has engaged a group called Block by Block (Website) to execute the program for an initial term of two years for an estimated annual fee of $725,000.
We first wrote about the relaunch of the Downtown Ambassador program HERE in May 2018.
The photo sure makes it clear that there is a lack of diversity and inclusion in this program.
Where is the representation in this program by non-Hispanic whites? Shouldn’t they be included in order to fully represent the public they serve?