In fall 2019, the Downtown Reno Partnership and its blue-shirted Ambassadors changed their approach to homeless outreach. Its two Outreach Ambassadors focused on a few chronically homeless individuals full time instead of working with a lot of people for a little amount of time each day. The goal was to assist people as closely as possible while helping them navigate service providers. The Ambassadors now do whatever it takes to keep individuals off the streets and out of the penal system.
In less than a month, the Ambassadors started moving people into permanent housing. Since the program began in late 2019, more than 33 people have been re-housed thanks to this new approach.
Recently, The International Downtown Association recognized the Downtown Reno Partnership with the Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence for its work and initiatives related to the One-at-a-Time Homeless Outreach program.
One-at-a-Time Homeless Outreach was among 29 qualified entries in the category of “Public Space Management and Operations,” which IDA identifies as one of the seven professional urban place management practice areas. This category features unique organizational approaches and projects in the areas of clean, safe and hospitality, placemaking and activation and facilities management.
“Homelessness has been a big issue in the majority of communities all over the country for many years,” Alex Stettinski, Executive Director of the Downtown Reno Partnership said. “Even though Business Improvement Districts are not social service agencies, we were able to develop a concept that effectively supports those agencies and produces tangible results. Our Ambassadors help place people into long-term treatment programs and housing through strategic outreach and collaboration and help change the landscape one person at a time. We feel so honored that IDA acknowledges the efforts our Ambassador team has set forth to make a difference.”
Keep up the great work, DRP!