Pacific Beach program improves street cleaning and safety while aiding homeless
PACIFIC BEACH (KUSI) — One of San Diego’s most popular beach communities may strike some people as looking as a lot cleaner and safer.
The improvements are the result of a program called “Pacific Beach Clean and Safe.”
At a news conference Thursday on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, business owners and community members joined by City Councilmember Lorie Zapf touted the program’s success in making the community cleaner, safer and providing unsheltered people with an opportunity to work.
The program began in 2017, as a pilot project with funding from Zapf’s office and Pacific Beach business owners.
In the first year, 29 people were employed as “Street Guardians” to empty trash, pick up litter, perform janitorial work and help to set up special events. Of that number, 5 people were placed in permanent jobs and housing.
In talking about its achievements, Zapf and other supporters of the program boasted that 256 tons of trash were picked up last year, and more than one ton of trash was removed each day.
Clean and Safe also hires a private security company to provide “Safety Ambassadors” 40 hours a week.
The annual budget for PB Clean and Safe is $140,000. Discover PB, the downtown business group that runs the program is looking for more financial support from the community to meet its budget for another year.
“Although it has not been that easy to fundraise, it’s been hard to put a price on the outcomes that have been achieved. The bottom line is lives here in PB have been changed for the better,” Zapf said