In an effort to provide visitors with information on downtown attractions and to help promote a clean and welcoming environment, the Olympia Downtown Alliance has announced the formation of the Downtown Safety Team.

“We’re excited to introduce the [Downtown] Guides to the community and visitors to our downtown. We’re passionate about our amazing downtown and can’t wait for our guides to help our visitors explore the area,” stated Todd Cutts, executive director of the Olympia Downtown Alliance.

To prepare for their work, the guides have trained with the Olympia Police Department, downtown ambassadors, Crisis Response Unit, and representatives from the Community Care Center. They have received training on de-escalation techniques, mental health and substance abuse basics, CPR and first aid, and social services available in the community. As part of their work, they will seek to connect individuals experiencing homelessness and suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues with local resources.

The Downtown Guides, who will be wearing “Ask Me” buttons on bright orange polo shirts, will be present seven days a week. Most days, they will be present from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Courtesy Olympia Downtown Alliance