Meet our ambassadors
The Downtown Reno Partnership hired 14 ambassadors and an operations manager through Streetplus, a company with 25 years experience cleaning up city districts.
Our ambassadors will patrol the downtown Reno area in blue, black and white uniforms. Their polo shirts display our logo and the word “Ambassador” on them. Their job is to create a cleaner, safer, friendlier environment for visitors and residents.
Our ambassadors work with Reno Police and City of Reno staff to accomplish these four major tasks:
- Cleaning: Ambassadors work with city staff to clean up graffiti, streets, weeds and snow.
- Safety: Ambassadors patrol the district and communicate with police to help triage situations to reduce nuisance calls so police can focus on larger issues. Ambassadors offer personal escorts for people who feel uncomfortable walking from place to place.
- Social outreach: Ambassadors help homeless people find supportive services, while also engaging with those chronically sleeping on private property. StreetPlus also employs licensed social workers to build relationships with transient populations who need additional help.
- Hospitality: The ambassadors can engage with visitors and tourists who need help finding activities, directions or information about downtown Reno. They will also add an additional layer of help during large downtown events.
The ambassadors are one branch of the Downtown Reno Partnership. To learn more about other parts of our mission to make a better downtown, go to the About Us section.
Ambassador statistics and accomplishments
The Downtown Reno Partnership ambassadors record their activities, encounters and reports into a central database. Streetplus produces a monthly report capturing their training, statistics and accomplishments. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the major statistics for the month and uploaded a full report at the end of each list.
In order for the Downtown Reno Partnership to continue to succeed we must collaborate with local agencies. Last month we started a needle clean up with Change Point from Northern Nevada Hopes. This has evolved into a multi-agency weekly outreach including Project Help Nevada and soon will include Northern Nevada Urban Indian. This outreach offers services and basic supplies to those in need. It also serves as a vehicle for building rapport and connections necessary for more positive outcomes.
Being homeless means that you’re going to have to walk a lot. Eventually this can take a toll on your feet. We find many of our population stranded where they sit because of an inability to walk any further. In order to easily transport individuals in this situation to nearby services St. Mary’s donated a wheelchair to the Ambassadors that will be used to more efficiently move stranded individuals to a more safe and suitable locations.
Click for full report
Some of our greatest accomplishments at the Downtown Reno Partnership include working with Earl. Earl is a Veteran from Alturas, Calif. who was passing through Reno on the way to his sister’s house when his bus had an unexpected stop due to the weather. Because of his physical and mental health, Earl became disoriented and lost in downtown. When we found him, we were able to connect him with his sister, and create a plan to get him home. We got him safely to the VA and worked closely with him, his case manager at the VA and his sister over the course of the next few days until he was on the next bus home.
Education is paramount so we sent two of our ambassadors to the Bridges out of Poverty training that teaches strategies for professionals and communities to better serve our homeless population. We also received training from the Director of Clinical Services at Reno Behavioral, Dr. Anderson which is geared towards working with persons with mental illness. We attended Homeless Connect event where we were able to engage with close to 600 homeless people and networked with most of the local service providers.
Our partnerships with Health Plan of Nevada, Reno Behavioral, Project Help, VOA, and many others have made it possible to link over 50 people this month to either housing treatment, or other services that will help to improve their situation.
Before and after
- In December the Downtown Reno Partnership strengthened its relationship with Health Plan of Nevada to assist with uninsured people who the ambassadors encounter
- The Life Change Center agreed to assist transporting people to their Peer Recovery Support Program
- We partnered with Steve Shell, CEO of Reno Behavioral Healthcare Hospital and Helen Lidholm, CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center to develop plans for mental and physical health coverage for the homeless
- Ambassadors allied with the Washoe County Railway Authority to learn about patrolling railroad tracks to keep people safe
- Two weeks after completed Narcan training from The Life Change Center, an ambassador used the opioid-reversal drug to save a life
- Two ambassadors worked with Reno Police to distribute toys to children in the motels
Before and after
- Ambassadors developed a relationship with Health Plan of Nevada who provides wraparound services, including housing for those with Medicaid.
- Created monthly meetings with City of Reno Code Enforcement to have a consistent and up-to-date strategy for maintaining streets.
- Created partnership with Reno Police Department’s downtown bike team that will allow the DRP to share information on problem individuals.
- Met with Judge Riggs from Community Court about working with the ambassadors to help get individuals to necessary resources through her new program.
- Toured REMSA (ambulance) and their dispatch center.
- Met with Fire Chief David Cochran and will present to the Captains next month.
Before and after
Our ambassadors have received training from Streetplus for their day-to-day work, but also received presentations and training from local groups and law enforcement to help them provide better services to the community. Here’s a sample:
- Ride along training with Reno Police Department
- Tour of services by Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission
- Tour of services with Volunteers of America at the Community Assistance Center
- Tour of services with the VOA Resource Center
- Tour of services with the Community Health Alliance
- Tour of services with ReStart Program
- Tourism presentation by Reno-Sparks Visitor and Convention Authority
- Received presentation by Veterans Resource Center
- Received presentation by City of Reno Code Enforcement Department
- Received crisis intervention training from the Reno Police Department and Mobile Outreach Safety Team
- Received training to work with people with mental illness by RPD
- The Life Change Center trained the ambassadors how to use Narcan, the nasal spray meant to reverse opioid overdoses
- HOPES trained ambassadors on resources at their clinic and also offered their services for needle pick-up and disposal