Innovative Partnerships: PBIDs and the Unhoused

As the homelessness crisis exploded in the last decade, UPMOs have often found themselves on the front lines of assisting unhoused neighbors. Learn from three organizations that have taken a hyperlocal approach to partner with local unhoused populations on innovative cleaning, maintenance and outreach programs. 

Top Issues Council Brief: Evolving Homeless Services

This report explains the importance of supporting homeless services to increase individual and public health and safety. It also offers examples and resources to help place managers launch or enhance homeless services in their communities. 

Advancing Places: Social Inclusion in Public Spaces

Many communities have struggled with building public places that are welcoming and open to all. As downtowns grapple with the uncertainty of office work, the challenge of bringing users back to our public spaces is compounded by the needs of underserved groups. What if we can make use of public space as the nexus where people in need and the programs that are meant to serve them come together?

Facilitated Forum: Homelessness

This session from IDA’s Annual Conference 2022 covers many of the topics from the Homelessness Services top issues council.

ATL Downtown Counts: Street Homelessness Survey

The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District conducted the first and only real-time enumeration survey of street homelessness targeted solely in downtown Atlanta and funded by the Community Improvement District. The survey was an all-volunteer, one-day outdoor event adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. Partner agencies included the Atlanta Police Department, the ADID Ambassador Force and a large group of downtown business and residential stakeholders.

Community First

The Times Square Alliance partnered with several organizations to pilot Community First, a program designed to help people in the district who are housing insecure and/or in need of human services and to create a more livable community for all. Community First addresses the economic and racial disparities of housing insecure community members in the area by building relationships and making connections to services such as housing, mental health, and/or benefits, among other services.

A Tale of Three Cities Fueling Recovery

This presentation focused on three cities (San Francisco, Berkeley, and Los Angeles) and how they identified challenges the pandemic presented to their downtowns and strategies being implemented to fuel the recovery. Challenges include the increase of homelessness and violence related to the civil unrest; lack of pedestrian traffic and downtown workers; and the role safety, security and cleaning played during the pandemic. Learn what strategies were implemented and positive outcomes achieved. 

Homelessness and Mental Health in Reno, NV

This presentation covers the concept of the new Nevada CARES Campus, which provides shelter for 600+ individuals plus a unique safe camp with over 50 mod pods. It will explain the obstacles and challenges Washoe County and the City of Reno had to navigate to build and staff the facility. In addition, two other projects are included: Hope Springs, and the Village on Sage Street.

Lessons from an Emergency: Crisis Ops for Social Issues

In December 2021, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a 90-day state of emergency for the overdose crisis in downtown. Together with place management organizations, city departments commanded by the Department of Emergency Management developed a disaster relief framework for long-term operations to address the most intractable issues at the intersection of crime, homelessness, mental health and substance use disorder.

The Policy Realm of Homelessness

The number of individuals experiencing homelessness continues to increase. Legislation to address this issue is also growing, especially with the funding received through the American Rescue Plan Act. Hear from practitioners on how they are navigating and influencing policy with elected officials in their local cities and states.

Atlanta Downtown Social Impact Safety Team-A.S.I.S.T.

The Atlanta Downtown Social Impact Safety Team (A.S.I.S.T.) is a mobile homeless outreach initiative targeted to serve those experiencing homelessness inside of the community improvement district and funded by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) in 2020 as a pandemic related response and intended to build capacity and fill gaps in the homeless service ecosystem on a short-term basis.

Double Helping Hands

The Double Helping Hands program was implemented in seven days during the COVID crisis, “Helping Our Local Restaurants AND the Homeless Community”. The program managed by the Downtown Berkeley Association, procures to-go lunches from Downtown Berkeley restaurants to feed the homeless. Approximately 100-150 lunches are ordered per day on a rotating basis from fifteen different Downtown restaurants. Downtown Ambassadors deliver the boxed to-go lunches to local homeless shelter.

Advancing Places: Conversation on Homelessness

Homelessness is, at its core, a human challenge, and as urban place managers we can act as conveners to collaborate and coordinate with service providers, public agencies and local organizations to ensure empathetic and successful programs. Join two panelists as they discuss their passion for addressing homelessness in their local district and how they approached the difficulties and successes when working to balance their unique situation.

Project Spotlight: Caring for Your Community

The Downtown Day Services Center offers services to individuals experiencing homelessness by utilizing a housing-first model and is operated by the DowntownDC BID. In South Africa, approximately 45 million people rely on the public health system most of whom are low-income earners who cannot afford to pay high prices for health care. Responding to this need, the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) collaborated with the Cipla Foundation to launch a new community-based healthcare.

Lateefah Simon Master Talk

Lateefah Simon is a 20-year veteran organizer for racial justice in Oakland and the Bay Area. She has been the President of the Akonadi Foundation since 2016. That same year—driven by the death of Oscar Grant—she ran and was elected to the Bay Area Rapid Transit Board of Directors—of which she now serves as President.

Public Safety Alternatives

Public safety reforms can be a polarizing conversation, but it is not one we should avoid. Rather, we should face the challenge, embrace the conversation and look at alternatives to providing safety. When we do so, we will find a plethora of programs that address the problems our urban districts face. Please join us as we explore three unique programs addressing sobriety and diversion, mental health and reducing violence by using disease control and behavior methods.

Ballard Alliance Clean Streets Program

The Ballard Alliance partnered with Millionair Club Charity (MCC) to provide twice weekly cleaning services and the annual fall leaf cleaning. The MCC is a nonprofit that employs homeless individuals and provides them with work, job training, and wrap-around services that help remove barriers so they can support themselves. The Alliance selected the MCC as its partner because they are qualified to do the work and because it has a direct positive impact on the homelessness crisis in Seattle.

John Snook Master Talk

John Snook serves as executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, widely recognized as one of the most influential mental health advocacy organizations in existence today. Mr. Snook brings the organization more than 15 years of policy and advocacy experience at both the federal and state levels.

DTP Connects

Chronic street homelessness is a complex societal issue that many cities face world-wide. According to the 2017 Business Security Survey conducted by the Downtown Tucson Merchant and Retail Council, homelessness was ranked the number one safety concern among downtown business and property owners. Homelessness was also identified as the biggest barrier to Downtown Tucson’s success in both DTP’s online Board survey and at the 2017 DTP Board Retreat. DTP Connects is a homeless outreach program.

Job Connect

A good day’s work can be the pivotal first step toward stability and shelter for someone struggling with homelessness. That’s why in 2016, the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) and local philanthropic / government organizations partnered to establish Jobs Connect. Jobs Connect is a simple, innovative program that matches homeless and vulnerable people with work and basic support services.

Creating A Social Development Ecosystem

South Africa’s particular socio-economic context forces many people to leave their homes to seek employment in city centres. However, the majority often cannot find work, and without enough shelter beds available, they are consequently left homeless. City systems lack sufficient infrastructure and resources to help those who need it. In response, VRCID developed a new coherent, collaborative approach that could address the complex challenge through an interconnected ecosystem of all players working to combat homelessness.

Clean Streets Team

The Waterfront BIA introduces its new Clean Streets Team, in partnership with Progress Place! Progress Place offers an inclusive, respectful and engaging community for people living with a mental illness. Combining a comprehensive network of services that includes employment, education, recreation and housing, they are committed to helping people stay out of hospitals, achieve their personal goals and contribute to the communities they live in. The team also does cleaning operations.

Top Issues Council: Homelessness in Urban Districts

This publication reflects the experiences and analysis of many urban centers throughout North America and is compiled by a council of place management practitioners experienced with effective homeless solutions. While similarities and differences abound, there are only a handful of truly universal issues which permeate the core of each downtowns across the globe. Homelessness is a challenge which does not discriminate by region, culture, or creed. It is a human challenge with complexities which demand a thoughtful response.

Outreach Services for Vulnerable Populations

Downtowns place management organizations have one of the best vantage points to help vulnerable people in their districts. This presentation outlines a number of different approaches to helping homeless through outreach, service delivery, education and communication strategies currently deployed in Cincinnati, Nashville, and Pittsburgh.

Social Equity, Inclusion, and the “Urban Renaissance”

Throughout 2018, the Inclusive Places Council explored the role of place management organizations in navigating challenges around social equity and inclusion in rapidly transforming cities. In this workshop the Inclusive Places Council will share toolkits and best practices around creating more inclusive public realm and organizations.

Community Policing and Partnerships: A Canadian Perspective

Urban center organizations are increasingly impacted by social street issues and while they cannot solve such complex social problems, it is vital that BIAs/BRZs/BIDs are involved in the discussions. Forming partnerships with the municipalities, local police, community and social organizations is the foundation to educate and foster understanding around such issues, and to begin to develop strategies and solutions for issues like homelessness and safety.

Downtown Districts at the Table: Top Safety Topics of 2017

Every thriving downtown community requires public safety. As downtown centers become re-populated with residents crime has shifted to include dangerous behaviors. Police forces have been thinning and patrols may not be as commonplace. More city centers are destinations for major events, which may also make them targets. How do districts plan for public safety? As a part of IDA’s Top Issues Council, the Safety & Security team explored this topic and more.

Homelessness in Urban Districts

The need for new, comprehensive approaches in addressing the issue of homelessness has risen to the forefront of conversations in urban centers around the globe. Two members of the homelessness top issues council share the four principles identified by the council for urban place management organizations.