Downtown Portland Clean & Safe Works Tirelessly Through Winter Storm

Executive Director of Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, Mark Wells, penned a heartfelt letter to highlight the dedication and compassion shown by the Clean & Safe vendors during the January winter storm.

Downtown Portland Clean & Safe Works Tirelessly Through Winter Storm

By Mark Wells / Executive Director

I wanted to share with our readers and viewers the amazing work, dedication, and compassion showed by our vendors during the winter storm in January. Specifically, I’d like to highlight the outstanding work of our security provider, GardaWorld. In August 2022, we transitioned to a 24/7 Public Safety Program that better supports our downtown community’s needs. Through the leadership of our Site Manager, Kevin McGraham, we were able to staff all shifts through the entire storm. 

In frozen temperatures and on icy sidewalks and streets, our Public Safety Coordinators (PSC) performed dozens of welfare checks on our most vulnerable unsheltered community members. Hats, handwarmers and snacks were handed out, and our team made dozens of calls to 211 and other city and county resources to find shelter, transportation or life-saving aid based on the need. 

My operations staff and I press safety first to our janitorial and safety vendors – we always have and will continue to prioritize their personal wellbeing. This storm proved yet again how dedicated our team are to downtown businesses and the community. Clean & Safe is never a “first-responder” organization; however, we pushed through highly challenging conditions to ensure, to the best of our resources, that we had no cold weather-related fatalities in our 213-block district. 

While I appreciate how overwhelmed our government agencies were and commend the work of our first responders throughout the region, our team was the primary organization making welfare checks in the downtown core for several days after the storm. We will be meeting with the city and county’s disaster response and shelter teams in the coming weeks to debrief from this storm. We will look for new collaborations and partnerships to provide even better service in the next weather emergency and help support our often understaffed first responders. 

I could not be prouder of the work and service provided by our partners and team to our downtown community during this winter weather event. Their response highlights the unwavering dedication and commitment of the team here at Downtown Portland Clean & Safe and the dozens of amazing cleaners and security professionals we are privileged to work with downtown. I hope your business, your employees and families are getting back to normal and thank you for your continued support. 

Thank you, Downtown Portland

Executive Director

Downtown Portland Clean & Safe