There was a post over on Prince of Petworth a few weeks ago about the NoMa BID (and more specifically its clean team) where PoP praised its efforts and wished for one in his neck of the woods. It got me to thinking how lucky we are to be blessed with business owners who care enough about their businesses and our community to choose to levy a tax on themselves in order to keep our streets clean, flowers planted, and to keep some eyes on the street, as well as give a helping hand to visitors in our neighborhood. When you look around at the Hill’s commercial areas and think how nice our streets look, you have the Capitol Hill BID to thank.
The BID encompasses 81 blocks (!) and is patrolled by Safety Ambassadors from 10:30am-7pm every day. These are men and women with 120 hours of public safety and crime prevention training in addition to first aid and CPR training. Not only that, but they’re fluent in Capitol Hill history, geography and attractions for all the visitors to our awesome neighborhood.
Our streets are kept clean by the BID’s Clean Team Ambassadors who are part of the Ready, Willing and Working program. According to its website, Ready Willing and Working is, “A non-profit organization that empowers individuals to break the cycles of homelessness, welfare dependency and criminal recidivism through a residential, paid-work rehabilitation program offering a holistic approach and supportive services that allow participants to achieve permanent self-sufficiency.”
The men and women of the Capitol Hill BID make our neighborhood a cleaner, safer and generally nicer place to live. The next time you see one of our Men (or Women) in Blue – let them know you appreciate what they do!
These guys are great. It is a real shame that the BID and the “Men In Blue” haven’t been extended reach H Street yet.
H Street Main Street was employing these guys for a while but I have no idea what’s happened to that program…
The H Street Business Task Force and CHAMPS have talked about working with the Men in Blue. We need funding.
Right now, the bigger problem is that the grant for the Clean and Safe program through H Street Main Street seems to have lapsed, apparently in early September. H Street is a mess without the great guys who tidy it up on a regular basis. Tommy Wells made sure the funding was appropriated but the business community doesn’t know what happened to the money.
H Street has a commitment to the Clean and Safe program. The men are part of a very effective project through a downtown mission to provide job skills and employment to the homeless. After a year of working on H Street, they have record of dependability and come to know merchants who can provide references that allow them to move into permanent employment.
Where do I give a thumbs-up to this post? The Men in Blue are truly one of the most cherished neighborhood resources – at least from my persepective. Thank you Men in Blue – and the merchants who fund them – for keeping our neighborhood so clean.
There is some history to this. The H St Main St organization was not supportive of the idea of expanding the BID to H St. Not sure what the objection was, but a business funded BID would be more stable than one that depends on govt grants.