The City of Lethbridge and Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) are excited to announce an expansion of the Clean Sweep Program (CSP) with the addition of two new full-time foremen, increasing the number of daily stipend workers and operating an additional two days a week.
The Clean Sweep Program's budget of $225,000 annually is funded by the City of Lethbridge. The Downtown Lethbridge BRZ took on the role of CSP administrator in 2007 ensuring that downtown businesses and patrons enjoyed a clean and safe downtown while at the same time providing meaningful job experience for Lethbridge's unhoused population.
In the past, the Clean Sweep Program offered a maximum of five individuals experiencing homelessness the opportunity to engage in employment-related activities such as cleaning up garbage, sweeping sidewalks, shoveling snow, needle clean-up and cleaning alleyways of debris and weeds in Downtown Lethbridge Monday through Friday.
With the addition of two full-time foremen, each foreman will now mentor and guide a team of up to five individuals – doubling the number of daily stipend workers taking part in the program. The program will also expand by operating seven days a week and will service select hotspot locations beyond the downtown ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for patrons and business owners daily.
"Since the adoption of the Heart of Our City Master Plan in 2007, creating a clean and safe downtown has been a fundamental goal of downtown revitalization and the Clean Sweep Program has been a cornerstone to those efforts," says Andrew Malcolm, City of Lethbridge Urban Revitalization Manager. "These program changes are important to ensure that City-funded programs are adapting with current realities to be able to effectively deliver a valuable service to the community in alignment with some of our broader community strategies including the Community Wellbeing & Safety Strategy (CWSS) and Downtown Clean and Safe Strategy (DCSS)."
"It has been an extremely difficult year for many and we are thrilled to share the great news of the program's expansion with the downtown businesses that make up the Downtown BRZ and also with the Lethbridge community at large," says Tulene Steiestol, Downtown Lethbridge BRZ Executive Director. "The Clean Sweep Program has been and will remain a service the BRZ is proud to lead and provide to our community."
The CSP program expansion has been able to effectively double the amount of hours of cleanup without additional funding being provided by the City of Lethbridge by a combination of implementing program efficiencies and by integrating aspects of the program with the needle collection program which is funded separately by the Province of Alberta.
The program foremen have already started their roles and are reporting to long-time CSP Manager Melissa Johnson. Weekend service of the CSP will commence May 1, 2021.