Downtown District hires bodyguards for downtown visitors and residents

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If this doesn’t make you want to frolic downtown, Bob Eury doesn’t know what will:

A new team of guides, trained in first aid, hospitality and other helping skills, is working the streets of downtown Houston.

Outfitted in dark blue, the new downtown public safety guides will be on duty seven days a week, starting at 9 a.m. each day.

The Houston Downtown Management District developed the program in response to focus group meetings with various downtown users, including residents, business owners and artists.

It’s not hard to guess that downtown “users,” residents, business owners, and artists are tired of being accosted by the homeless. And despite the assertion by KTRK-13 that downtown is booming, a recent KRIV-26 story illustrates the problems that $4 billion hasn’t fixed:

Take a walk down a portion of Main Street and Prairie: you’ll see restaurant after restaurant, bar after bar that has closed up shop. “For lease” signs, empty windows

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.