The Clean Sweep Program (CSP) is funded by the City of Lethbridge and managed and operated by the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone. 

The CSP seeks to positively contribute to a clean, safe, and vibrant urban core, with specific attention to the Downtown District.  Core services provided by the program include cleaning up garbage, sweeping sidewalks, graffiti tag removal, shoveling snow, raking leaves, basic landscaping including watering and flower planting, and other related needs. 

The CSP runs four programs, both within the downtown core and elsewhere in Lethbridge, that are dedicated to beautification, cleaning, and maintenance.  The four programs are:

The Downtown including Galt Gardens clean up

Daily Shelter cleaning

Encampment and Biohazard clean up

Needle Debris Collection Program/Needle Debris Hotline Activities

In addition to maintaining the urban core, the CSP is rooted in offering individuals, many of whom are experiencing homelessness and/or addiction, the opportunity to engage in barrier-free entry-level employment activities.  These individuals become CSP crew members and are provided with hourly financial compensation the amount of which depends upon the nature of the job completed.  Crew members are further supported to develop employment, financial literacy and personal development skills and are connected to opportunities to housing and other social services and to transition into regular employment opportunities.

Downtown Program Activities

o   Ensuring a high level of cleanliness is maintained in the Downtown with specific attention on the downtown district through the delivery of the following:

o   Cleaning up garbage and litter, sweeping, and general cleaning of sidewalks, lanes, and curbs on a year-round basis.

o   Pressure washing sidewalks and street furniture (i.e, benches, garbage receptacles, and flower planters).

o   Removing graffiti tags from private and public infrastructure with landowner permission.

o   Snow removal from priority areas (i.e. Festival Square, sidewalk entrances to back lanes, sidewalk ramps, around parking meter kiosks, and around public art).

o   Clearing up fallen leaves.

o   Basic landscaping including watering and flower planting.

Daily Shelter Cleaning Activities 

o   Increasing numbers of the vulnerable population are congregating in the neighborhood so they can access the services of the Shelter, OPS, and/or the Soup Kitchen. 

o   CSP crews and their foremen attend the Shelter and neighboring businesses twice daily seven days a week.  The first shift cleans for one hour at 8:00 a.m.  and the second shift for an hour during the afternoon.

Needle Debris Collection Program/Needle Debris Hotline Activities

o   The CSP operates the Needle Debris Collection Program and simultaneously manages the Needle Debris Hotline telephone.  Reporting to the Needle Debris Collection Foreman, up to 5 Needle Debris Sweepers crew members will provide clean-up services throughout the City of Lethbridge at specified Hotspot locations.

o   Hotspot locations are:

§  Zone 1 – No Frills – north side

§  Zone 2 – Across from Alpha House

§  Zone 3 – Small Parks/RCMP Barracks

§  Zone 4 – Big Park (Kinsmen)/RCMP Barracks

o   Hotspot cleaning occurs a minimum of five days/week for 2 hours/day.

o   Activities include regular removal of contents of permanently installed needle collection boxes, distribution of sharps containers and disposal of used drug equipment (public locations only) as required to ensure effective collection of drug debris where permanent needle collection boxes are not available.

o   Maintaining a separate and distinct community hotline for citizens to call when they identify a location(s) where drug-related debris can be found.  This line operates daily between the hours of 9:00 am – 9:00 pm seven days/a week

Encampment Removal and Biohazard Clean Up Activities

o   Expanding services to include biohazard and encampment response aligns with the existing repertoire of services provided by the CSP.  The service expansions synergize response and add direct benefit to the downtown zone it serves as well as the wider community.

o   In response to ongoing community concerns, the CSP has expanded its services to assist in managing issues associated with encampments. 

o   The CSP is responsible for responding to encampment incident calls to clean up garbage, debris, or litter at encampment sites.

o   The CSP attends to encampment sites only after occupants have departed and the area is vacant or during a City of Lethbridge scheduled Coordinated Encampment Response with Lethbridge Police Services and other service agencies present.

o   Encampment and biohazard incidents are triggered through the Public Safety Communications Centres’ (PCSS) dedicated Safe Community Call Centre (825-399-7233) line (SCSS).

o   The Encampment/Biohazard Foreman informs SCSS of incident resolution by phone

o   The Encampment/Biohazard teams operate in teams of four, working for four hours/day and five days/week (M-F).

o   In response to ongoing community concerns the CSP has expanded its services to assist in managing issues associated with biohazard waste in public spaces.  While symptomatic of complex social issues, the community has been vocal that this inhibits well-being, enjoyment, and safety of public spaces in the community

o   Prior to working in this role, the Encampment/Biohazard Foreman takes relevant training in cleaning up biohazards to respond effectively and safely to clean-up calls.  Only the Encampment/Biohazard Foreman deals with biohazard cleanup.

o   Encampment and biohazard incidents are triggered through the Public Safety Communications Centres’ (PCSS) dedicated Safe Community Call Centre (825-399-7233) line (SCSS).

o   The Encampment/Biohazard Foreman informs SCSS of incident resolution by phone

o   The Encampment/Biohazard teams operate in teams of four, working for four hours/day and five days/week (M-F).

Program benefits for crew members

o   Training on all aspects of jobs is provided

o   Working collaboratively with Alberta Health Services to ensure coordination of services and programming so that individuals are equipped with appropriate collection/disposal materials.

o   Safe work tools and equipment provided – gloves, hi-viz vests, trash pickers, needle stick resistant gloves, hand/foot warmers, sharps containers

o   Development opportunities available for employment, financial literacy and personal development skills

o   Provides meaningful daytime activity

o   Provides impetus to overcome addiction and secure safe living conditions

o   Impact of work is visible and provides safer conditions for all

o   Reduces stigma.  Provides an opportunity to engage with the community and feel sense of purpose

o   Connection and referral to social services available

o   Minimal requirements to start work/stay working

o   Flexible conditions for work.  No pressure to work daily or regularly.  Work as much or as little as desired

o   Daily lunch and unlimited hot/cold beverages provided to crew members

o   Clean, welcoming office environment

o    Responsible management and administration