Public Safety Committee Member Janice Friend, a Downtown resident, has a personal stake in her neighborhood’s welfare and is onboard with her Committee’s efforts to continuously improve Downtown safety. “I am a retired social worker,” she explained, “and with my background, the Public Safety Committee is a perfect fit.”
Friend is an enthusiastic participant in Fresh Start, a campaign developed last year in part by the Public Safety Committee, to assist individuals in Downtown experiencing homelessness. She has helped coordinate with Downtown businesses to display donation boxes where individuals can donate much-needed hygiene products to three non-profit service providers that offer a wide range of assistance to our unhoused neighbors. Click here to learn more about Fresh Start.
Friend is also keen on improving scooter etiquette in Downtown. “The goal is to educate the public on placing scooters in the designated areas rather than leaving them littering the sidewalks,” she said.
Born in Hollywood, California, Friend moved to the San Fernando Valley when she was very young. “My life there was pretty typical,” she said. “I lived with Mom and Dad, and grew up mostly in apartments. We played handball and kickball with the neighborhood kids; Video games were not prevalent as I was growing up. I climbed a lot of trees, rode my bike and sprained my wrists a lot — nothing extraordinary,” she said with a smile.
Years later, Friend fell in love with Long Beach as soon as she arrived to pursue her Master’s Degree in Social Work at California State University, Long Beach. After she retired, her interest in DLBA was piqued after she learned about our work with homeless individuals. Currently, she enjoys spreading the word about DLBA and the Public Safety Committee’s efforts. “Education is the key to change,” she said. “I am always talking to Downtown stakeholders about the interesting tasks our Committee takes on.”
Friend is also helping shed light on the work of DLBA’s Safety Ambassadors, who are on call to assist residents, friends, family, and visitors to and from their Downtown destinations. “I have called upon the Ambassadors a few times myself,” she told us. “It is a wonderful free service to the community.”
Note: DLBA Friendly Safety Escorts are available Sunday through Thursday from 8:00 AM to 9:45 PM; and Friday and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM. Call (562) 244-1365.
An avid nature photographer, Friend loves shooting seascapes and getting close-ups of interesting creatures. She also spends lots of free time enjoying the amenities of her neighborhood. She is truly a friend of the Downtown community, which she describes as “vibrant, convenient, and diverse.”