San Jose – hiring the homeless!

The city of San José in Northern California, America is launching an initiative that will both clean their city and provide jobs for homeless people.

They are hiring 25 local homeless people to pick up rubbish around the city for $15 an hour. By hiring homeless people to clean up the streets the city hopes to provide them with a way to eventually transition themselves back in to full-time work.

The workers will start by cleaning up 40 different areas around town that have been identified as litter hotspots and dumping grounds. It’s hoped 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 people will be hired and managed by a charity called Downtown Streets Team, an organisation that works to end homelessness. 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.

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