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The Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is contracting with Block By Block to provide ambassadors who will walk around the City or ride on T3s and answer questions people may have & help them with minor problems such as operating a parking meter. Depending on the time of day, there will be between two and four ambassadors on duty to assist individuals in the downtown section of Hollywood. The ambassadors will have two-way radios to contact police officers if necessary.
“This program is focused on safety and security. They will be employees of Block By Block. They provide this service in other major cities,” said Jorge Camejo, executive director of the Hollywood CRA. “They will be available to help people.”
The Hollywood CRA has been working with Block By Block to keep the streets and sidewalks clean and to remove graffiti. Now the city is adding the safety component.
The total contract with Block By Block is $900,000 for three years. The company is based in Louisville, Kentucky. In Florida Block By Block has a presence in Miami, Jacksonville and Coconut Grove.
People who are visiting Hollywood Beach might meet Rita Gambardella. She is a member of the Hollywood Beach Ambassadors, a volunteer organization that helps people who are visiting the beach area.
“We try to make people feel comfortable. We give them basic information about where they can go if they want to rent a bicycle or if they want to know where something is in Hollywood,” said Gambardella. “Local residents and visitors love it. We have had people ask us how they can get involved with our organization.” Gambardella is a local realtor and is involved with the Mobile Patrol and the New Image Task Force.
Those who want to get involved will have to submit to a background check. The Beach Ambassadors walk up and down the Broadwalk from Scott Street to Monroe Street on Saturday and Sunday mornings and early afternoons and are available to provide information to people about the beach.
“It creates a good atmosphere. I am involved because I want to make Hollywood a more enjoyable place to visit and be,” said Gambardella.
To volunteer call 954-921-3020 or visit www.HollywoodFL.org.