Meet the Center City AmbassadorsApril 12, 2020 8:13 pm
With the State of North Carolina operating under a Stay at Home order, there has been no greater change than to the once busy streets of Charlotte’s Uptown. However, one constant that remains is the presence of Charlotte Center City Ambassadors who continue to service the area.
Learn more about how the ambassadors have adapted their work amid the COVID-19 pandemic and what support is available to Uptown residents, visitors, workers, business owners and more below in the Q&A interview with Eleisha Brewster, Operations Manager for the Charlotte Center Ambassadors Program.
Can you explain the role of the Charlotte Center City Ambassadors?
It is our goal that Uptown is a welcoming, safe and highly serviced place for our residents, employees and guests. The Ambassador Program is part of achieving that goal. Ambassadors act as facilitators, expeditors and multipliers, connecting those in need with the specialists who can help.
The Center City Ambassador program focuses on three major areas. The first is creating an atmosphere of safety by serving as an extra pair of eyes and ears through our collaboration with CMPD. Next, they provide a high degree of hospitality by assisting Uptown workers, visitors and business owners. And finally, they conduct outreach to the homeless population by connecting them with social services.
Can you explain the responsibilities of the ambassadors as part of Charlotte Center City Partner’s COID-19 Response and the Stay at Home Order?
As many Uptown workers began telecommuting and many restaurants closed due to dining in restrictions, we suspended the program for a few days. During this time, we worked to assess the best way to leverage the program. Finally, we determined the ambassadors still needed to continue outreach to the homeless, who are particularly vulnerable at this time, and to monitor activities in and around Uptown to ensure the security of properties that house closed businesses.
How have the Ambassadors adapted their delivery of service?
The Ambassador Program is classified an essential service under the Stay at Home order; so, their personal safety is important. Early on we established strict guidelines in terms of social distancing and disinfecting of equipment to ensure the safety of the ambassadors. Because the organization has programs in several other cities, some of which had COVID-19 cases before Mecklenburg County, they’ve been able to adapt lessons learned in other areas here locally.
What is the biggest benefit you see in keeping the Ambassador on the streets?
As organization, it is important for people to know that during these difficult times, Charlotte Center City Partners is there. The Ambassadors serve on the front line of that service continuing to engage our diverse stakeholders ranging from business owners to our homeless population both of which are facing dire circumstances right now. And finally, it also has brought out the best of our ambassadors, who continue to serve during this time.
How can stakeholders connect with Charlotte Center City Partners and learn more about resources and support during the COVID-19 response?
I encourage any stakeholder who has concerns or questions to contact the Ambassador program at Outreach (980) 240-4436.
As part our response to COVID-19, Charlotte Center City Partners continues to advocate for and promote our stakeholders, as well as curate information for them related to this crisis. Individuals can go online to www.charlottecentercity.org/covid-19-updates/ for the latest information and resources on COVID-19. There they can learn how to support local businesses and nonprofits during this time as well as about activities to keep them engaged when cabin fever becomes too much.