Downtown Indy Inc. has launched a $225,000 pilot Street Ambassador Program to clean sidewalks and public areas in Indianapolis’ Wholesale District. The 12-month program consists of six Street Ambassadors who have been hired through Healthy Veterans and Families. 

Downtown Indy Inc. provides the veterans a temporary, full-time position with a $12 hourly wage. 

The organization says the effort is a means to address what it calls an "increased level of concern regarding safety and lack of cleanliness in the Downtown area, largely brought on by those experiencing homelessness and panhandlers." 

Participants in the program remove trash from the sidewalks in the Wholesale District and remove stickers from street poles and signs as well as graffiti. They are also equipped to complete spot power washing. 

“Downtown is challenged by an inconsistent experience in its public realm – dirty sidewalks, graffiti and occasionally intimidating street behaviors that detract from Downtown’s overall cleanliness,” said Sherry Seiwert, president and chief executive officer of Downtown Indy, Inc. “Last year’s proposed EID would have supplemented existing City services with added resources to ensure a consistently clean and welcoming Downtown at all times. Yet, with the increased use of Downtown from a growing residential base, increased convention activity and greater office occupancy, the wear and tear of Downtown is showing more and more. Filth must be addressed and no business should get complacent with its own cleaning standards. Our Downtown deserves better.”