New member of the Clean and Safe Team focuses on outreach initiatives, beginning September 2023
The Main Street District announced a new position for the Clean and Safe Team, also known as the Yellow Shirt Ambassador team. The Outreach Ambassador will focus on outreach initiatives for the chronically unsheltered homeless population in downtown Columbia. This position will be responsible for making contact with unhoused individuals in an effort to establish relationships and help connect them to service providers. Different from the traditional Yellow Shirt Ambassadors, the Outreach Ambassador will wear a blue uniform and will be onsite 2:30 – 11:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.
“We are proud to have someone on staff that focuses on identifying those in need and connecting them with local social service agencies,” says Matt Kennell, President & CEO of the Main Street District. “We are hopeful that by having someone dedicated to providing support we will have a positive impact on the lives of those in need, and on the community as a whole. ”
The Outreach Ambassador is funded, in part, from the City of Columbia Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Meet Tim Smith
Tim Smith has been named the Outreach Ambassador for the district and has been training with the parent company of the Clean and Safe team, Block by Block, for the past several weeks. Tim comes to the Main Street District as a graduate of Claflin University with 27 years of experience in law enforcement at the local, county and state levels. Prior to this position, Tim worked in Darlington County with the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
“It’s been a pleasure to learn more about the services that are offered in Columbia,” says Tim Smith. “Something I often remind myself is that at any moment or given circumstance, we can all go through a tough time in life, regardless of our status at the present moment. I look forward to helping chronically unsheltered individuals find the right services that will help them move toward an independent lifestyle.”
About the Main Street District
The Main Street District encompasses the 36-block area bounded by Gervais, Elmwood, Assembly, and Marion streets in Columbia, SC. The organization provides public space management, economic development, marketing services, and public advocacy for the district. The Board of Directors oversees the organization’s mission — to focus on filling vacancies in commercial properties, retaining existing downtown businesses and recruiting new ones, expanding the downtown residential base, and creating a safe, clean, and friendly downtown environment.