AUSTIN, Texas - The Downtown Austin Alliance (Downtown Alliance) has partnered with community and city organizations to assist people experiencing homelessness downtown through an initiative called Project H2O.
Downtown Ambassadors recently began providing water, masks, and information about additional resources to those facing homelessness.
The Project H2O team will operate Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with additional hours and weekends filled primarily by the Downtown Ambassadors and overtime Austin Police Department officers, who are funded by the Downtown Alliance with the specific goal of outreach and community policing.
Downtown Ambassadors will provide logistical support and a weekly supply of 700 water bottles, masks, and pamphlets that they will distribute during the course of their normal daily duties. The Downtown Ambassadors will maintain a supply of water and masks to replenish the outreach teams.
Project H2O was launched as an extension of the Downtown Ambassadors’ mission to help keep downtown safe and vibrant. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Downtown Ambassadors have conducted an increased number of clean sweeps each day and employed sanitation equipment and motorized vehicles to cover more ground throughout downtown and South Congress.
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Handwashing stations were also deployed downtown and concentrated in high-traffic areas.
The Downtown Ambassadors set up information carts with slides about prevention of COVID-19, in addition to distributing Austin Public Health-approved materials to the general public, including those experiencing homelessness.
“We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the heat of the summer months, may exacerbate health and safety risks for Austinites experiencing homelessness,” Dewitt Peart, president and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance, says in a news release. “The Downtown Alliance Ambassadors regularly connect with this community and this is another way to help alleviate some of the challenges they face, especially during this difficult time.”
You can find out more information about the Downtown Austin Alliance here.
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