There aren’t as many people on the streets of downtown Birmingham this week, and, for the first time ever, we think that’s ok. We’re happy to see our community following recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on reducing the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

At the time of publication, the CAP team is still downtown for you, offering our clean and safe services with a special emphasis on clean. We are first responders of sorts, addressing the needs of downtown for as long as we can. (Note: Services are subject to change at any time based on new information that affects the health and safety of our CAP Ambassadors.)

Right now, here’s what we know.

Downtown needs to be cleaner than ever. We’re adjusting the way we use our pressure-washing trike to be able to disinfect high-traffic surfaces downtown. We’re expecting chlorination tablets to be delivered soon, and by putting that in the pressure washer’s water tank, we’ll be able to lightly spray surfaces like crosswalk buttons, benches and more to kill virus-spreading germs.

Vulnerable populations need our help to keep them safe. Those experiencing homelessness right now are at a heightened risk for infection because of lack to access to medical information as well as sanitation options. To reduce the spread of illness, area homeless shelters are restricting movement in and out of overnight programs, which means that currently unsheltered individuals may not be able to find many of the services they count on. To help fill this gap, CAP and One Roof are working together to coordinate education and sanitation services for those who are currently unsheltered. CAP has ordered handwashing stations to be deployed this week in public spaces downtown and will be actively engaging those who do not have regular access to running water in handwashing routines. One Roof and REV have developed educational materials that CAP ambassadors and One Roof’s Street Team will be sharing with anyone in need. Fortunately, so far, CAP Ambassadors have observed that few individuals seem to be on the street right now—but our team will continue to monitor the situation.

We need to be ready to come back strong. In addition to addressing COVID-19-specific clean and safe needs, we’re also using this time for planning and extra team training to prepare for Birmingham’s triumphant return to the vibrant, foot-traffic-heavy City Center we know and love.

So hang in there, Birmingham. We’ll see you downtown again when the COVID-19 threat has passed. In the meantime, stay safe and call 205-251-0111 if you need us!

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