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Clean and Safe Ambassadors to hit the streets of Rochester Wednesday

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Rochester residents will begin to see people in orange shirts giving a helping hand with cleaning public spaces and helping people get around amid construction.

The ambassadors are a team of 10 people who are part of an initiative lead by Rochester Downtown Alliance to improve downtown, from cleaning to helping people through customer services roles.

To start, Clean Team Ambassadors will provide these daily services within the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s 44-block special service district. These services will include the following:

  • Sanitizing high touch areas of public spaces
  • Power washing sidewalks
  • Picking up litter
  • Pulling weeds
  • Removing graffiti
  • Providing customer service by answering questions and providing directions

According to a news release, as the team becomes established in Rochester, they will also check in with businesses, escort people to their cars for safety and offer other hospitality services. The ambassadors are employees of Block by Block, a national vendor selected to operate the program. The same vendor has offered similar programs in downtown Minneapolis and downtown Duluth.

"It's looking at what's working in other cities," Rochester Downtown Alliance Senior Director of Placemaking Karli McElroy said. "What's essential for them and bringing those ideas here to help Rochester and bring people back downtown."

The plans for the program were in the works before the pandemic hit, McElroy said it was just coincidental timing.

“I think the program will bring more people to downtown and will let them know there are dedicated people who are going to keep them safe, keep things clean, be a friendly face and be a resource,” Clean and Safe Ambassador Jolene Schultz said.

The ambassadors will work in different shifts 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. seven days a week.

Funding for the program was provided through Mayo Clinic, DMC and the City of Rochester.

Megan Zemple

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