The goal of the new OB Clean & Safe Program is to prioritize public safety, as well as act quickly to eliminate blighted areas and beautify the commercial districts in Ocean Beach.
OB’s Clean & Safe program however is decidedly different than its counterpart in Pacific Beach, which was initiated about a year ago to employ homeless people to work on community beautification.
“This is a rebranding of our (existing) OB Security Program to include a lot of the extras we do, so adopting Clean & Safe seemed like a better way to refer to what we have been doing,” said Denny Knox, executive director of Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA) business improvement district. “We don’t run ours exactly like the PB one that includes a court program. Ours is simple. We have a security team that works 40-plus hours per week taking care of a lot of basic clean-ups in the commercial district.”
Knox noted OB’s Clean & Safe team will report through the City’s Get-it-Done app “all those things that pose a danger or threat to our members and their customers. We also work very closely with SDPD on safety issues,” added Knox.
OB’s Clean & Safe to-do list will include: Graffiti abatement, regular sidewalk power washing, litter pickup, pet waste bags, solar safety lighting and signage addressing the physical aspects of cleanliness and security in the commercial areas. Contracted security personnel and community enhancement volunteers will work together to provide a cleaner, safer environment.
The OB Clean & Safe Program will also partner with local organizations, like those helping homeless individuals achieve a sense of pride and create movement away from negative behavior by providing volunteer opportunities to create and maintain public spaces throughout the community, said Knox.
Knox added the end result will be to “create a safe and inviting business district that fosters community pride while also supporting economic vitality. A cleaner environment and a security presence will benefit residents, visitors and businesses alike.”
The OB Security Program, initially launched during summer 2014, has been funded primarily by business owners and residents with some additional funds from the Newport Avenue maintenance assessment district. The association was also awarded grant funding for $8,000 to supplement program costs.
Three years ago, OBMA initiated a trial period for use of two security guards dedicated to keeping Ocean Beach family friendly while enhancing public safety.
The security program involves guards teaming up on bikes and riding up and down all the alleys and streets in OB as well as walking the community's sidewalks. Guards patrol especially along Newport Avenue, but also on Voltaire Street and near Dog Beach.
Knox said there are numerous ways to support the OB Clean & Safe program. One is dropping by the first Wednesday OB Farmer's Market of each month, stopping by OBMA’s information booth in front of Wings to purchase a ticket for the monthly prize drawing offering great prizes — flowers, fruits and veggies, gourmet items, etc. — from local vendors.
Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. All proceeds go to the Clean & Safe Program.
To make a donation, visit oceanbeachsandiego.com/obmast…/ob-clean-safe-program or visit OBMA’s office at 1868 Bacon St.