“What is striking is the mutual respect among Team Members and between Team Members and staff. They truly care for each other and encourage each other – and you can feel confidence blooming in everyone. “ ~ Betsy Guthrie, Novato Community Member and DST Advisory Council Member
We’re on a mission to end homelessness through the dignity of work in the beautiful, friendly town of Novato. Say "hi" to our Team Members, easily spotted by their bright yellow shirts, as they remove trash and other debris from the city's downtown streets. Team Members will engage with the business community on a daily basis by checking in with local merchants about specific clean-up concerns, as well as perform outreach to prospective Team Members (unhoused members of the community), and discourage loitering, panhandling, and disorderly conduct.
"In the short time the Downtown Streets Team has been in Novato, I say: the Downtown Streets Team Program is a grand slam for our community!" - Mayor of Novato, Denise Athas
A video from the perspectives of our Team Members, as they describe what it’s like to be a part of Downtown Streets Team.
Downtown Streets Team History
Downtown Streets Team was founded in 2005 by the Palo Alto Business Improvement District as the solution to the two major concerns that were plaguing the downtown area: panhandling and trash accumulation. Once the issues were identified, a work-first model was developed, in which the unhoused men and women in the community can volunteer up to 20 hours per week in exchange for case management and employment services. Thus, Downtown Streets Team was born.
Our Palo Alto Team operates in downtown Palo Alto 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. The team reaches out to the homeless living in our focus areas along with carrying out a variety of jobs, including:
Security and cleaning of parking garages
Cleaning and lining soccer fields
Sweeping downtown streets
Join the Team
To join our team, prospective volunteers must attend our Weekly Success Team Meetings every Wednesday. Once a space opens, they are invited to accept the shift and join the Team.