San José is launching an ingenious initiative that will simultaneously beautify their city and provide jobs for homeless people in one fell swoop.
The California city is hiring 25 local homeless people to pick up litter around the city for $15 an hour.
By hiring homeless people to clean up the streets, the city hopes to provide them with a paycheck and eventually transition them into full-time work.
The workers will primarily involve cleaning up 40 different areas around town that have been identified as litter hotspots and dumping grounds. Legislators hope that – if the homeless employees find a sense of purpose with the work – they will also be able to dissuade their homeless acquaintances from contributing any more litter to the hotspots.
Homeless applicants will be hired and managed by Downtown Streets Team, an organization that works to end homelessness, and Goodwill. According to Mercury News, the program is currently being financed through a $200,000 litter abatement grant from the city, and if the initiative proves to be successful, then city workers are eager to see it continue into the future.
Though there is no way to predict how successful the program will be in San José, the city of Denver made national headlines back in January for publishing the results of a similar work model in which they hired homeless people to perform jobs for the city. After one year of paying the workers, over 100 of them were able to land regular jobs.
Clean Up Negativity: Share The Good News With Your Friends On Social Media – Representative photo by U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Briana Jones