Downtown Gets a Boost from Groups Eager to Create a Welcoming and Clean Environment

Jun 22, 2020

Two programs this summer will work to make Downtown Cedar Rapids a safe, welcoming, and clean environment for residents and visitors.

Downtown Ambassadors

An innovative program that launched in 2019 to proactively curb violence Downtown and ensure that all feel safe in the District is back this year. The Downtown Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) is again partnering with the Cedar Rapids Public Library, Linn County, City of Cedar Rapids and Willis Dady to support Downtown Ambassadors. Due to lower traffic in the wake of the pandemic situation this spring, Ambassadors started in early May with one shift per day, 7 days per week, from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Downtown Ambassadors will again be charged with tasks including informing individuals and families of resources, creating a welcoming environment, de-escalating potentially volatile situations, and supporting those in need. A secondary task includes picking up trash and recycling as they monitor the District. New this season, Downtown Ambassadors will be providing awareness about COVID-19 with precautions to take, symptoms to watch for, and handing out bottled water, face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to those in need.

Downtown Cleaning Crew

The Downtown SSMID is also partnering with Willis Dady on another venture to beautify Downtown. With a growing District in the heart of Cedar Rapids, the SSMID is increasing resources to beautify the area for residents and visitors. The Downtown Cleaning Crew will build on the proven model of the Downtown Ambassadors and will also assist in keeping the 72-block boundary of the Downtown SSMID consistently clean and inviting. The program provides individuals who have recently utilized Willis Dady’s services the opportunity for employment, while also significantly helping the cleaning and maintenance staff of the Economic Alliance.




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