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Last Update

2009-08-01T00:00:00.000Z

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Background Information

Employment History

Safety Ambassador
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Homeless Outreach Coordinator
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Education

associate degree
criminal justice
International Academy of Design and Technology

Web References (5 Total References)


The PDP's Homeless Outreach Coordinator, ...

www.downtownpittsburgh.com [cached]

The PDP's Homeless Outreach Coordinator, LaKesha Austin will be working closely with local social service agencies to assist homeless individuals in Downtown and the surrounding area to be safe during the G-20 Summit.


Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

www.downtownpittsburgh.com [cached]

LaKesha Austin, a Safety Ambassador with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, stops to chat with Germiller Hughes as she makes her rounds through the streets and alleys of the city offering services to the homeless people.

Two years ago, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership mobilized a few dozen sidewalk ambassadors in anticipation of tens of thousands of visitors for Major League Baseball's All-Star Week.
LaKesha Austin was one of them. She said she was proud to direct, advise and escort tourists around her hometown. When All-Star Week ended, the safety ambassadors remained to help partnership members and the regular denizens of Downtown.
For some of them, Ms. Austin, 36, of Brighton Heights, is a partnership specialist -- the first, and so far only, homeless outreach coordinator.
...
Like all seven safety ambassadors -- who are paid from the assessments the partnership takes in from members, most of them Downtown businesses -- Ms. Austin fetches jumper cables, walks people to their cars, helps tourists, calls the police and checks in with businesses that have reported complaints. But the staple of her day is serving the needs of people who live on the streets.
Ms. Austin has been a cook, a mail sorter, a convenience store clerk and has earned an associate degree in criminal justice from the International Academy of Design and Technology. But for this job, she is inspired by memories of tagging along as a kid when her grandmother, a retired social worker for the county, went on case visits.
In a bright red polo shirt, with a first-aid kit, a packet of brochures and holsters for a water bottle and a walkie-talkie around her waist, she makes at least two rounds of Downtown per eight-hour shift.
She knows the names and stories, and which nooks, crannies and alleys are whose. She knows individual bundles.
"Hmm," she said, studying the small encampment of bundles behind a dumpster. "They're usually here.
...
Ms. Austin said she takes people to get meals, which she buys. "I don't just hand people money." The partnership buys bus passes for her homeless clients to go to a shelter or a social service agency. She has accompanied several people to the Social Security office.
"I sit with them, wait with them, whatever they need."
For one of her favorite regulars, she is trying to establish a payee so he can collect Social Security payments: "It's too much money for him to walk around with."


Post Gazette: Ambassador reaches out to Downtown needy | Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

www.downtownpittsburgh.com [cached]

LaKesha Austin, a Safety Ambassador with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, stops to chat with Germiller Hughes as she makes her rounds through the streets and alleys of the city offering services to the homeless people.

Two years ago, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership mobilized a few dozen sidewalk ambassadors in anticipation of tens of thousands of visitors for Major League Baseball''s All-Star Week.
LaKesha Austin was one of them. She said she was proud to direct, advise and escort tourists around her hometown. When All-Star Week ended, the safety ambassadors remained to help partnership members and the regular denizens of Downtown.
For some of them, Ms. Austin, 36, of Brighton Heights, is a partnership specialist -- the first, and so far only, homeless outreach coordinator.
...
Like all seven safety ambassadors -- who are paid from the assessments the partnership takes in from members, most of them Downtown businesses -- Ms. Austin fetches jumper cables, walks people to their cars, helps tourists, calls the police and checks in with businesses that have reported complaints. But the staple of her day is serving the needs of people who live on the streets.
Ms. Austin has been a cook, a mail sorter, a convenience store clerk and has earned an associate degree in criminal justice from the International Academy of Design and Technology. But for this job, she is inspired by memories of tagging along as a kid when her grandmother, a retired social worker for the county, went on case visits.
In a bright red polo shirt, with a first-aid kit, a packet of brochures and holsters for a water bottle and a walkie-talkie around her waist, she makes at least two rounds of Downtown per eight-hour shift.
She knows the names and stories, and which nooks, crannies and alleys are whose. She knows individual bundles.
"Hmm," she said, studying the small encampment of bundles behind a dumpster. "They''re usually here.
...
Ms. Austin said she takes people to get meals, which she buys.


Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

www.pghliving.com [cached]

Most homeless do not panhandle but if you see a panhandler, especially those who are aggressive, please call our Homeless Outreach Coordinator, LaKesha Austin, at (412) 589-0357.


Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

www.pghliving.com [cached]

Also, LaKesha Austin, PDP Safety Ambassador Homeless Outreach Coordinator and Erica Smith, Community Human Services, talked about current homeless outreach initiatives that are helping the less fortunate in our city.

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