on June 7, 2023 / by Dylan Thomas / in Blog Posts, DDI News, Parks and Public Space
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Chief of External Affairs & Government Relations
Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc., Announces Strategic Public Awareness Campaign
In 65th year, nonprofit launches “Dedicated to Downtown” highlighting enhanced Security, Clean, Homeless Outreach, Ambassador services.
Downtown Dallas – Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) on Wednesday unveiled the first phase of a comprehensive campaign to raise awareness about the nonprofit’s partnership with the city and community to deliver enhanced safety and services in parks and public spaces.
The “Dedicated to Downtown” campaign, targeting Downtown residents, workers, and visitors, will educate and provide ways to engage with DDI’s enhanced Security, Clean, Homeless Outreach, and Ambassador services. Those groups, known collectively as the DDI Field Operations Teams, are funded through the Downtown Improvement District (DID) managed by DDI since its formation in 1992.
“What makes Downtown so vibrant is our people, and that is especially true at Downtown Dallas, Inc.,” said Jennifer Scripps, DDI President & CEO. “When it came to finding new and impactful ways to tell the story of who we are and what we do, the answer was right in front of us. We decided to feature the faces of the dedicated, compassionate and effective people who take care of our streets, sidewalks, parks, and public spaces. They truly bring out the best in the community.”
The campaign will leverage DDI’s communication channels, including email, website, and social media platforms. To extend the reach of the campaign, DDI will utilize paid sources including programmatic media and paid social media. “Hero images” of DDI Field Operations Team members at work are on display beginning today on digital billboards throughout Downtown.
The campaign messaging also highlights the measurable impact made by the Field Operations Team members in Downtown each year. DDI Members, Public Improvement District rate payers, residents, workers, and visitors are encouraged to report non-emergency incidents requiring Security, Clean Team, or Homeless Outreach by downloading the SeeSay app, available for iOS and Android devices.
DDI’s Field Operations Teams are now under the direction of DDI Chief of Public Safety and Field Operations Larry Gordon, a former 27-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department who joined DDI last year.
“Downtown is a neighborhood unlike any other in Dallas. It has a concentration of more than 14,000 residents, 120,000 workers, and millions more visitors annually,” Gordon said. “My team members take pride in proactively serving Downtown Dallas’ public spaces, including streets, sidewalks, and parks, as well as outdoor events and special programs.”
DDI operates within the Downtown Improvement District (DID), bounded by I-345 on the east, I-30 on the south, North Stemmons Freeway on the west and Woodall Rodgers Freeway on the north. DDI’s Field Operations team members, who are present seven days a week throughout the DDI service area, most frequently respond to calls and See Say app requests concerning sleeping in public, smoking in parks, panhandling, and litter, graffiti, and sticker removal. DDI also works closely with police, social service agencies, nonprofits, and neighborhood groups.
The “Dedicated to Downtown” campaign launch corresponds with the start of DDI’s annual Summer Safety Operations Plan. Every summer, DDI uses real-time data and community engagement to develop a proactive plan to support the anticipated spike in visitors. Among key tenets of DDI’s operations for Summer 2023:
- Dozens of activations and events throughout the summer at Downtown parks managed by DDI, including Main Street Garden, Pegasus Plaza, West End Square, Pacific Plaza, and Carpenter Park. These include free Salsa lessons, movie nights, markets, live music, and yoga for children.
- DDI’s innovative “relate and refer” Homeless Outreach program that now includes partnerships with the Dallas Police Department and the DART Police Department. Officers from both agencies are embedded with DDI’s Homeless Outreach Team on different shifts.
- Ongoing collaboration with the City of Dallas Office of Homeless Solutions to rehouse people experiencing homelessness Downtown. In 2021, DDI contributed $500,000 to support the DallasReal Time Rapid Rehousing Initiative. Since that time, DDI has worked with the City, and other partners to close numerous Downtown encampments and rehouse the people living there.
- Revamp of the DDI Ambassador position, public-facing customer-service focused employees charged with engaging visitors and residents of Downtown about the best restaurants, retail, entertainment spots, etc. The Ambassadors also support the execution of DDI events in public spaces.
- Homeward Bound program that provides bus transportation to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with friends or loved ones.
- Courtesy walks upon request for people living, working, or visiting Downtown that would like a DDI Security officer to accompany them to a Downtown destination.
What DDI partners are saying:
“The Dallas tourism industry is on pace to recover beyond pre-pandemic levels this year,” said Heather Walker, Visit Dallas Vice President of Client Services. “The good work of DDI’s Field Operations Team members helps us to ensure we deliver on the promises we make when we sell Dallas as a premier convention destination. We are particularly excited about their Ambassadors team, which serves as a resource for visitors to make the most of the Downtown experience.”
“In law enforcement, we have long recognized that we must have strong partners in the community to do our jobs well,” said DART Police Chief Charles Cato. “DDI is a force for good in Downtown that partners with the city and community to deliver enhanced services, including Security, Cleaning and Homeless Outreach in public spaces.”
“We are grateful for the partnership we have with DDI’s Security Officers, who provide support to our Dallas Police Department officers working in the Central Business District,” said Dallas Police Deputy Chief Israel Herrera, commander of the Central Patrol Division. “We look forward to continuing our work Downtown, including with the Homeless Outreach Team, to provide compassionate and effective engagement with people experiencing homelessness.”
“Our partnership with DDI has been key to our Dallas College El Centro operations since we opened our doors in Downtown more than 25 years ago,” said James Smith, Dallas College Police El Centro Captain. “This new campaign will be critical in providing us resources to educate the evolving student population about how to take advantage of these enhanced supplemental services.”
The DDI Field Operations campaign was created by DDI in partnership with two agencies: Gershoni, a creative agency responsible for developing a campaign theme, and TODOS Digital, a digital marketing agency tasked with helping DDI achieve its goals.
For more information, see the “Dedicated to Downtown” Press Kit here.
About Downtown Dallas, Inc. Enhanced Services
DDI services Downtown Dallas’ public spaces, including streets, sidewalks, and parks, as well as at outdoor events and special initiatives.
If there’s a public space in the area bounded by Woodall Rodgers Freeway to the north, I-345 to the east, I-30 to the south and I-35E to the west, DDI can help with Security, Cleaning and Homeless Outreach.
DDI works closely with partner organizations that provide enhanced services for surrounding neighborhoods.
For more information, visit downtowndallas.com.
How to Reach DDI Clean, Safe, and Homeless Outreach Teams
You can report incidents through the SEE SAY app, by calling the dispatch number for DDI Security and Clean Team at 214.741.1151, or by texting a report to 972.440.1995.
Hours of Operation:
DDI Security: Daily, 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Clean Team: Daily, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Homeless Outreach: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ambassadors: Hours vary
About DDI Security
A team of security officers committed to ensuring the public safety throughout Downtown Dallas.
Security operates in a supplemental role to the Dallas Police Department, responding to non-emergency tips and helping patrol the area seven days a week.
Each year, Security responds to nearly 30,000 incidents, including more than 5,000 tips received through the See Say app.
Notify one of our uniformed Security team members in person (look for the blue shirts!)
About DDI Clean Team
A team of full-time employees dedicated to maintaining the beauty and accessibility of streets, sidewalks and public spaces in Downtown Dallas.
Clean Team removes litter, grafﬁti, dog waste and gum, pressure-washes sidewalks, maintains trees and plants, and conducts cleaning and repairs of benches, bike racks and trash receptacles.
Each year, the Clean Team removes more than 5,000 pieces of grafﬁti and stickers, 3,500 cubic yards of litter and debris, and power washes more than 3 million square feet of sidewalks.
Notify one of our uniformed Clean Team members in person (look for the green shirts!)
About DDI Homeless Outreach
A team devoted to supporting the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness in Downtown Dallas.
Through a “relate and refer” approach, Outreach team members engage individuals and connect them to resources that meet their speciﬁc needs and circumstances.
Each year, the Outreach team engages with people experiencing homelessness more than 5,800 times, leading to nearly 500 reuniﬁcations with loved ones via bus transportation.
Notify one of our uniformed Outreach team members in person (look for the purple shirts!)
About DDI Ambassadors
Ambassadors help residents and visitors make the most of their Downtown Dallas experience. They serve as a resource for the best arts and entertainment, dining, nightlife, shopping, recreation and events.
Locate one of our uniformed Ambassadors in person (look for the lime green shirts!)
About TODOS Digital
TODOS Digital is a Dallas-based specialty digital marketing and lead generation company. We drive sustainable growth for businesses by enhancing their online presence and attracting high-quality leads. TODOS tailors media plans to its clients’ goals by utilizing channels such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and programmatic media, and uses data to optimize these plans and deliver measurable business outcomes. TODOS is a NCTRCA-certified woman-owned business.
About Gershoni Creative
Gershoni Creative (Dallas / San Francisco) is a full-service creative agency that brings brands to life. From global rebrands to high-powered campaigns, Gershoni develops strategies to unlock opportunities that transform organizations. Gershoni’s combination of intersectional insights, buzz-building executions and spirit of collaboration has powered brands such as Google, Apple, Spotify and Nike for more than 25 years. For more information, visit https://gershoni.com/.
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