A homeless man approaches Jared Arvanitas, Downtown Ambassador program manager, to ask for assistance in downtown Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. (Photo: Kristin Murphy, KSL)

By Katie McKellar, KSL | Posted Dec 4th, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — Jared Arvanitas, manager for the Downtown Alliance's ambassador program, says he and his team walk an average of 13 miles a day in their work to help those living on the streets.

Arvanitas' breath wisped in the air as he moved briskly up South Temple toward City Creek Center — what he called a "hot spot" for panhandling and a common gathering place for people experiencing homelessness.

"It's taken me nine months to develop a rapport on these streets," Arvanitas explained, grinning as he told of how he's been attacked, shouted at and dismissed before finally gaining trust. "I've chipped away at that plate mail, one link at a time."

The challenges are year-round, though they change with the seasons. In summer, the drug dealing and overdoses run more rampant, he said. In winter, it's the fear of finding someone frozen to death on the street. Read More