It’s a safe bet that a church that meets on Sundays at Pickwick & Frolic on East Fourth Street has downtown Cleveland in its prayers. Led by Pastor Alex Ennes, the Gateway Church launched its first public-service initiative April 1, parterning with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s (DCA) Clean and Safe team to clean up after the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. The DCA contracts with Block by Block, a national company that works with downtown business improvement districts to manage their Clean and Safe programs.
“The great thing about [the Downtown Ambassadors] is they are as advertised: They’re trying to do the right thing and they just need people to help,” says Ennes. Together, Gateway Church and DCA cleaned up 2.5 tons of garbage following this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They trimmed back hedges on East Ninth Street and found places for flowers and areas badly in need of new mulch.
“If you live downtown you probably don’t own a truck,” says Ennes. “[DCA] stored the trees, they stored the flowers, they stored the mulch and then we all worked together to put all those things together and clean the area up.”