San Jose will pay homeless $15/hour to cleanup their own trash

by DCG

If the homeless wanted to be part of the solution wouldn’t they voluntarily pick up after themselves?

From SF GateSan Jose is launching a new program to clean up the streets while also helping get people off them.

The initiative will employ 25 homeless residents to pick up trash at 40 “litter hotspots” around the city. The employees will be paid $15 per hour and work four to five hours per day.

The pilot program was announced by Mayor Sam Liccardo Thursday in partnership with Goodwill and Downtown Streets Team. Participants will start picking up trash in November.

While the pay is better than San Jose’s minimum wage (currently at $13.50 per hour as it scales toward $15 by 2019), it’s probably still not enough to afford living in the South Bay city, even if the work were full-time. A one-bedroom apartment costs an average $2,364 a month, according to Rent Cafe.

If things go well, the mayor’s office says it would consider expanding the program to more participants.

“As we’ve seen the trash and debris coming from homeless encampments mount, too often our homeless residents are dismissed simply as ‘the problem’,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo in a press release. “We intend to show that our work-ready homeless residents can become, and want to become, part of ‘the solution’—both for themselves, and for our community.”

Similar programs organized by Downtown Streets Team are already operating in cities around the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Berkeley, Hayward, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto.

 

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