Written By Mayor Edwin M. Lee
If someone ventured down to the Dolby Laboratories headquarters on Wednesday, they would have immediately noticed a large group of people decked out in brightly colored yellow t-shirts. These individuals were impossible to miss, and they had every right to be recognized. They were all members of the Downtown Streets Team, and each of them were working to turn their lives around.
The Downtown Streets Team is a non-profit that connects jobs and housing opportunities with men and women dealing with homelessness. The organization, which partners with public agencies and private companies, marked its one-year anniversary in San Francisco on Wednesday, and we were happy to take part in that celebration.
Through the Downtown Streets Program, each participant is given a job cleaning and maintaining city streets. Since the launch of the initiative, 28 residents have received jobs and 13 have been placed into supportive housing. Additionally, they have helped remove some 206 tons of debris from San Francisco’s streets. The program recipients enjoy the benefits of employment and housing, and City neighborhoods gain from having cleaner streets and sidewalks.
Most of the cleanup efforts to date have focused on the Civic Center and Union Square — with special attention devoted to areas linking Market Street to City Hall. Following the success of those endeavors, the Downtown Streets Team plans to expand to the Tenderloin and other neighborhoods.
The initiative is able to grow due to the support from partners such as Dolby, which provides funding for the Downtown Streets Team. This partnership is another example of the city working together to pursue policies that benefit all our residents.
That was our mindset when we started the Central Market/Tenderloinproject, an initiative that invests in new public spaces, helps small businesses and supports art installations in the area. The Downtown Streets Team complements those efforts. It creates housing opportunities, offers resources and services to homeless residents, and works on addressing quality-of-life issues in San Francisco’s neighborhoods. That mission is carried out with compassion, dignity and respect.
I can see firsthand how much it means for the workers to take part in the Downtown Streets Program. They are proud to have jobs, and are looking forward to finding a place to call home. Every San Franciscan deserves to have that feeling, and we are working hard to make that a reality.
This post was written originally for Medium. View the original post.