This summer we introduced you to
Vanessa Palomino, a Los Angeles Conservation Corpsmember and valued member of South Park's Clean Team. To provide safety services, the BID partners with Streetplus. Since 1991, Streetplus has provided friendly safety and ambassador services to downtown areas around the country.
At the end of August, Johnthon Hunter took over as Program Manager, and Stephanie Moreno joined as Assistant Program Manager
. Hunter, our 2016 SPBID Officer of the Year, has been with the South Park BID since February 2016. Moreno has been working with BIDs in DTLA since 2015.
We sat down with both of them to talk about working in South Park, and what they're looking forward to in their new roles.
What is a regular day like for a member of the Safety Team?
Hunter: Our team spends most of the day patrolling the district, both to keep their eyes open for any situations that need attention, and to get to know the residents and merchants in the district. We work with our homeless population, escort people who don't feel safe, and respond to calls for assistance.
Moreno and I work together to make sure that our Ambassadors have what they need to be the eyes and ears in South Park. I oversee most of the day to day operations, like schedules and routes.
Moreno: I'm focused on training team members, and on making sure they have all the equipment they need to do their jobs.
What's next for the Safety Team?
Hunter: Right now, we're hiring additional safety ambassadors. South Park is growing so quickly; we're optimistic about all of the upcoming changes, and excited to be a part of them.
Moreno: All of these up and coming projects will provide new experiences for our team, and bring more people to explore South Park. We're focused on being ready for those new developments and the people they bring.
Hunter: We build relationships with homeless people who frequent South Park, but we do not provide long term solutions or direct services. It's hard to play both the security role and act as a case worker, but we try to direct homeless individuals to resources. We're looking forward to welcoming a Homeless Outreach Coordinator to the South Park team in the future.
What do you like most about working in South Park, and what's your favorite part of the district?
Hunter: Spending every day out and interacting with people. My favorite spot in the district is the corner of 11th & Grand: it's always full of interesting people.
Moreno: I grew up in the Downtown area, and the transformation of Figueroa fascinates me
We're lucky to have
in South Park. Feel free to bring any of your questions and concerns to them directly. You can also
, Director of Operations, or submit a service request
Special thanks to Katherine Amaya, who contributed portions of this interview while interning with SPBID as a Coro Youth Fellow.