City to pay 508 thousand dollars for cleaning, commercial areas

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Evanston City Council members on Sept. 12 approved an allocation of $508,000 in federal Covid recovery funds to a Brooklyn-based company to provide enhanced cleaning and maintenance to the city’s downtown and other commercial areas.

But the board balked at a move by several councilors to add a social services component to the contract with Sreetplus Co., LLC.

In committee, Councilman Bobby Burns, 5th Ward, suggested allocating an additional $125,000 to the company for cleaning and maintenance services, as the company has done in other cities.

“We all know that there is an increase in homelessness and violence everywhere in the area, this is not an issue in itself,” he said at a meeting of the Administration and Public Works Committee held before the full city council meeting. “The issue is that we have not responded in the way that we need to as a city to connect with individuals and get them the support they need.”

“Given the post-Covid surge in our homeless population, there is an immediate need for more staff to interact with and guide our homeless population into services,” they argued.

“In my opinion, it allows us to bypass unnecessary bureaucracy,” he said of adding the service to StreetPlace’s contract.

Councilors: Social services need to be checked

Councilwoman Eleanor Revelle, 7th Ward, announced that City Council members will receive a report from Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare at the next meeting and that the agency’s mobile crisis response team works with homeless people in crisis situations.

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