Downtown Raleigh ambassadors offer hospitality, additional sense of safety

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Downtown ambassadors were out in Raleigh helping over the weekend during the protests.

Ambassadors are around to help with anything from directions to helping people in need.

“Every day it’s something new, a new challenge and we enjoy it,” said Sergio Urena, program manager for Safety Ambassadors.

They were out during the protests over the weekend.

“We did assist with removing a few barriers that got thrown into the street, so vehicles could pass through. We assisted with the police department trying to put out a small fire,” said Urena.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance recently hired four new ambassadors, bringing their total to 16.

They go through 40 hours of training.

“We expanded the program really to add a few more eyes and ears during a period where we’ve had a little reduced foot traffic,” said Bill King, CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

One of the new hires is a social services expert. They’ll help connect people to different needs, like shelters and job training.

“Part of it is just hospitality. The other part of it is providing an additional sense of safety,” said King.

The ultimate goal is for them to represent downtown Raleigh, and connect others to it — whether that’s directions, restaurant recommendations, or helping find your car.

“It’s just to be approachable, to smile, to say hello, to be able to listen to people,” said Urena.

The new ambassadors all start soon.

City Council approved the extra funds for them.

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