PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Hundreds of volunteers met up in downtown Portland on Thursday to clean up the streets and sidewalks.
While the clean-up event is nothing new, organizers and business owners say it's more necessary now more than ever.
"It's been very, very challenging for our guests and employees," said Jean-Marc Jalbert, General Manager of The Nines.
Jalbert and a group of other hotel managers were part of the hundreds donning orange vests and carrying garbage bags on Thursday to give the streets of downtown Portland some attention.
"We were absolutely elated that 450 of our employees around the city signed up to participate today to the clean up," Jalbert said.
The event is called "Hospitality of the Heart." It was organized by SOLVE in partnership with the Portland Business Alliance and the Portland Lodging Alliance.
Organizers say while this is the second year they've done this, it feels even more important now.
"We want to show people that Portland is safe and healthy and resilient, and that it's important to support our local businesses and just to get people out to do good work. We need positivity right now and that's what we're doing," said Kris Carico, CEO of SOLVE.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was also downtown to help. He was living close to downtown in the Pearl District, but after his building became a target for rioters again this week, he notified neighbors that he would be moving.
"I will no longer be in close proximity to a bunch of other families. I'm going to find an arrangement where I will not be jeopardizing other people's health or safety," Wheeler said.
While he's not calling the Pearl District home anymore, he and other volunteers are committed to coming together to care for the downtown area.
"We are looking forward to more clean up, particularly the graffiti," said Jalbert.
There will be more volunteers cleanup events coming up. For more information, visit solveoregon.org.
Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.