A city in the state of Arkansas pays homeless people $9.
25 an hour to collect rubbish from the streets.
The program called ‘Bridge to Work’ pays more than the minimum wage of $7.25 and aims to get the people’s lives back on track while helping the environment.
The project was initially a 6-month trial only. But according to MailOnline, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. was so delighted with the results that he proposed to extend the scheme through to 2020.
Managed by the Canvas Community Church, the scheme has spent $80,000.
“We’re super excited about what has gone on, and we hope to be able to keep the momentum going,” Pastor Paul Atkins said to 12 News Now.
He added: “We want to work with them on their next step. There are a lot of barriers that our people experience to go from homelessness and panhandling to full-time work. There’s a lot of steps in between.”
Participants of the program have been offered mental and physical health treatment, job interviews, and for some, small shelters.
Around 400 people have signed up for the project and they work in teams of eight. They have spent over 1,832 hours with over 2,000 bags of litters cleared.
When one of the local leaders, Felecia Cooks, heard that the program will be extended, she said: “I just knew. I never had a doubt. I never had a doubt because I knew our potential and I knew that we would get to this point. And so, it made me just want to just cry out with tears of joy.”
Many people praised the program. One said: “Great idea at least you are trying to better your community in more ways than one.”
Another wrote: “About time. Brilliant, give these people a chance. Being homeless can happen to anyone this country needs to do more to help it’s own”
A third added: “Other states should adopt this too. It will benefit the city and the large number of homeless.”
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