Fix-It Program Pushes Forward In Castro With New Community Ambassadors

Fix-It Program Pushes Forward In Castro With New Community Ambassadors
Fix-It helped to redo the sidewalk on Pond Street. (Photos: Shane Downing/Hoodline)
By Shane Downing - Published on November 07, 2016.

Today, Fix-It director Sandra Zuniga will be training five new community ambassadors. The paid staff—part of an entry-level training program that could eventually lead to future job opportunities for them with the city—will help to implement the Fix-It program on Castro streets, including cleaning up leaves and litter, removing graffiti, and calling in quality of life issues to 311.

Since we last reported, the Fix-It team has been continuing to address cleanliness and upkeep concerns around the Castro, as well as call in 311 issues. According to Zuniga, Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Library remains a focal point of her team’s efforts, and Fix-It recently installed a new light on 16th Street to brighten the sidewalk around the library.

Today's four-hour training session will be divided between classroom and field training. Zuniga will cover job duties, tools and equipment, safety practices, and customer service skills during the classroom training. On the streets, she and her team will lead the new ambassadors around the neighborhood, reinforcing classroom training, and demonstrating how to identify and report concerns to 311.

Fix-It is working to clean up Castro streets.

At the end of the training, Zuniga will introduce the ambassadors to neighbors, “so they can begin to get to know each other as stakeholders in the upkeep of the neighborhood,” she told Hoodline by email.

Chances are, even if you don’t meet them on Monday, you’ll be able to spot the new Fix-It ambassadors around the neighborhood as they’ll be wearing vests with the program’s logo.

So, how do these neighborhood ambassadors differ from other local groups like Castro Community on Patrol and Castro Cares? “We cover the streets seven days per week,” wrote Zuniga, “and mainly focus on cleanliness and non-emergency upkeep issues.”

“Each ambassador works four days per week, from 11am-8pm, on different days,” Zuniga added. “Two ambassadors work Monday to Thursday, and three work Friday to Monday.”

Zuniga gathered community feedback at a meeting in June.

This means that the neighborhood will always have an ambassador working in the area, Zuniga said, and each ambassador will be assigned to specific blocks “to ensure that multiple areas of the neighborhood are being tended to at one time.”

“The Fix-It ambassadors have been assigned to work in areas we have identified with higher 311 requests and higher foot traffic,” wrote Zuniga. She added that areas were determined based on feedback she received from residents at a community meeting in June. Neighbors can expect to see an emphasis on the streets around the library, especially on Pond and Prosper.

Although these five Fix-It ambassadors will only serve the Castro, Zuniga plans to train additional ambassadors who will work in other Fix-It neighborhoods, including the Inner Sunset.

As always, you can contact Sandra Zuniga if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions for the Fix-It program in the Castro.