The public art installation Color Jam at the intersection of Adams and State… (Michael Tercha/Chicago…)
Cleaning up downtown is a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.
That somebody is the Safer Foundation, which provides employment assistance to people with criminal records.
Safer Foundation has partnered with the Chicago Loop Alliance to spruce up the Loop for the past three years, said alliance executive director Michael Edwards.
Cleanup crews pick up litter and scrape stickers off street furniture along State Street from Wacker Drive to Congress Parkway and half a block east and west of State Street.
The alliance at its Tuesday meeting detailed the accomplishments of the clean team in 2012:
3,444 bags of litter were removed from the street
8,760 miles of sidewalks, planters and curbs cleaned
4,996 positive interactions from giving directions to returning lost keys
188 hours spent removing stickers from street furniture
State Street property owners are part of a special service area and pay an assessment that generates $2.5 million for programs and services along State Street, Edwards said. That fund is used to pay Safer Foundation its $200,000 contract.
The alliance announced on Tuesday the launch of its first strategic planning process. Renewing and expanding the special service area could be explored if additional property owners, for example along Wabash Avenue, want added services, like cleanup teams.
Keeping the Loop clean has been a focus of the alliance.
"What you're basically saying to the community is we care about this place and we care about you," Edwards said.
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