The San Francisco Travel Association has started a one-year pilot partnership with Downtown Streets Team to help keep the neighborhood around the Moscone Center clean for the millions of people attending events at and around the convention center.
Founded in 2005, Downtown Streets Team works to end homelessness by restoring the dignity and rebuilding the lives of un-housed men and women. Team members engage in beautification projects, such as street cleaning and creek restoration. All team members are volunteers who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless.
Team Members are held accountable and trusted to complete tasks, show up on time, and work well with others. Those who show dedication and leadership skills have the ability to rise up to become team leads, then managers, and supervise others with little or no supervision from staff.
Downtown Streets Team
In return, Team Members receive a non-cash stipend to help cover their basic needs, while taking advantage of case management and employment services to find housing and a job.
Downtown Streets Teams’ ultimate goal is to transition Team Members into lives of stability. The model is structured to be a one-year transitional program into permanent housing and employment.
Downtown Streets Team has secured more than 1,600 homes and jobs for people in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. Its goal is to end homelessness in our lifetime, one community at a time.
Joe D’Alessandro, San Francisco Travel president and CEO, said of the pilot partnership: “We see partnering with Downtown Streets as a win/win. Naturally, we want visitors to have a positive experience as they come and go to our convention center. But we also want to help those who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. Downtown Streets lets us accomplish both objectives.”
The two four-member Downtown Streets teams will be easily visible in their yellow shirts as they tend to the sidewalks and public areas from Market to Folsom streets and Third to Fifth streets, eight hours per day, five days per week. In exchange for their work, team members receive stipends to be used for basic needs such as food and housing.
The service is in addition to those provided by the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District — who will coordinate the teams — and the San Francisco Department of Public Works.