ROANOKE, VA. (WFXR) — A new program from Downtown Roanoke Inc. (DRI) and Block by Block is aimed at improving the downtown area experience for people this summer.

It’s called the Downtown Ambassador Program, which aims to help improve the area experience for residents, visitors, and employees by building on existing services and maintaining a clean and safe downtown.

“We’ve seen the popularity of these programs grow greatly over the past several years and have been investigating the feasibility of bringing an Ambassador Program to Downtown Roanoke for quite some time. The challenges faced by our downtown are being experienced across the country and we are more committed than ever to working toward solutions that ensure Downtown Roanoke is a clean, safe, and welcoming place for everyone. Downtown is the face of our region and its vibrancy is vital for the growth of the entire region,” said Tina Workman, President, and CEO of Downtown Roanoke, Inc.

The program will be administered by Block by Block, a company that serves over 120 urban districts, parks, and transit systems across the United States. The company will help select employees that will go through extensive training.

Each team will be present downtown six days a week for nearly 300 hours. They will be in bright-colored, easily identifiable uniforms and will be broken up into the following three teams:

  • Clean Team: removal of litter and debris, weed control, graffiti and handbill removal, power washing
  • Hospitality Team: actively engage and welcome downtown visitors, answer questions, provide directions and recommendations
  • Outreach Team: conduct business outreach, address quality of life issues, check in with those in need and help connect them with services, work closely with Roanoke City Police to report and share information

“The City is thrilled to continue to support the efforts of DRI to ensure downtown remains a vibrant
area for small business, restaurants, entertainment venues, and hospitality to thrive and for residents
and visitors to enjoy. We commend DRI and its membership for taking this next step in promoting
downtown’s continued success,” said Bob Cowell, City Manager for the City of Roanoke.

Organizers say they will be aiming for ambassadors to be on the street by September.

For more information about the program and how to get involved visit the Downtown Roanoke website.