Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced earlier this month, the new Safe and Clean Downtown initiative, a collaborative and comprehensive plan to deliver a vibrant downtown Denver. As the economic and cultural center of our city, this program will create a downtown experience that is safe, clean and joyful.
“Downtown Denver is the economic and cultural center of our city,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “It is the living room of Denver, and we want every resident and guest to not only feel safe but also to feel inspired by the creativity, innovation and genius that is Denver. The Clean and Safe Downtown initiative will help deliver on our promise of a vibrant Denver by bringing together partners from across the city in a first-of-its-kind collaboration to bring forward our joint vision for a safe, clean and joyful downtown.”
This plan has six parts:
- Clear Streets and Safe Sidewalks: Over the past six months, Mayor Johnston’s administration has worked hard to help 1,135 people get off the streets and into housing and permanently close those areas to future camping. That success will translate to a downtown Denver without encampments, increasing safety for our entire community.
- An Easy Reporting System: This plan will engage all of Denver in the shared responsibility of keeping downtown safe and vibrant. The city has partnered with the Downtown Denver Partnership to launch the Clean & Safe app, an easy-to-use app that allows any resident or visitor to notify the city and community partners when they see something that doesn’t make Denver feel safe and clean.
- Fast Response: In addition to easy reporting, this new system allows the city to send the right request to the right person for the right support, and it does it quickly. For example, if there’s someone in a mental health crisis, we can dispatch STAR or the city’s co-responder program. If a person experiencing homelessness needs services, we can dispatch our community partners, like the Dream Center, to help connect them to services and support.
- Denver Ambassador Program: There are many partners working to keep Denver safe and clean, but they often work without coordination and collaboration. This new program creates a coordinated and unified effort between nonprofit partners, city employees, private security partners and the Downtown Denver Partnership that is highly visible. All Ambassadors will wear a yellow vest and share one linked channel of communication, so when residents and visitors see someone wearing a yellow vest, they know that person can answer questions and provide support.
- Community Activation: Safety is not just about the absence of crime, but about the presence of joy. That is why we will continue to build upon and support the Dynamic Downtown Denver grant program to put a spotlight on Denver’s creativity and passion in downtown Denver.
- Business Activation: In addition to community-led activation, the city will work closely with downtown businesses to be the co-authors of the city’s activation by partnering with business leaders to strategically activate their buildings, blocks and neighborhoods and contribute to a vibrant downtown.
This program is built on partnerships with community organizations like the Downtown Denver Partnership and Denver Dream Center. By leading through collaboration and community engagement, this program will pave the way to replicate these efforts in every neighborhood in Denver with local community partners.
“At the Downtown Denver Partnership, we have a firm belief that a safe and welcoming and beautiful city truly takes all of us every single day,” said Kourtny Garrett, President & CEO of Downtown Denver Partnership. “We, alongside Mayor Johnston, have a collective commitment for a better city for all, a city where we all take care of one another. The Clean and Safe Denver app empowers the community to report non-emergency issues related to cleanliness and security.
“It’s an honor to partner with the mayor and the Downtown Denver Partnership for the good of our city,” said Pastor B, founder of the Denver Dream Center. “We’re fanatics for people and we believe in humanity. The Denver Dream Center will take on the point of engaging quickly with safety needs before issues escalate. Many of our team members have lived experiences and can humanize the situations they encounter.”