Homeless Getting Paid for Picking up Trash in a New Six-Month Trial Program


You may notice homeless people doing something unusual in Little Rock, Arkansas. It seems that there is a new program that is giving them an incentive to pick up trash.


The incentive is the ‘Bridge to Work’ program and it is being offered by the city. Eight homeless people are getting paid per day for picking up trash, clearing woods and doing other cleaning jobs.

The incentive is the ‘Bridge to Work’ program and it is being offered by the city. Eight homeless people are getting paid per day for picking up trash, clearing woods and doing other cleaning jobs.

According to a local news outlet, $9.25 per hour will be paid to the homeless individuals. That is the current minimum wage. $80,000 in funding has been set aside for the program from the City of Little Rock’s Public Works Department.

According to a local news outlet, $9.25 per hour will be paid to the homeless individuals. That is the current minimum wage. $80,000 in funding has been set aside for the program from the City of Little Rock’s Public Works Department.

Canvas Community Church is running the program that started on April 1 and will end on September 22.

One of the eight homeless individuals is Alexander Williams.

“Hopefully you know by doing this job right here, maybe I could get hired on fully by the city or something,” Williams said.

Williams is a driver with the new initiative as well as a supervisor. He is hoping that it will open doors to a brighter future.

“I’m basically trying to change my life,” Williams added.

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The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness publishes statistics on the homeless. According to their records, approximately 2,712 individuals are homeless on any given day in the state of Arkansas. On a nationwide basis, the figure is well over 500,000.

When homeless people are not able to find jobs they can get discouraged.

Many of them turn to alcohol or drugs to cope and to try to deal with the pressures of living that life. When potential employers see that an individual is homeless, they have difficulty seeing past it and jobs can be difficult to come by.

When you don’t have a home, it can also be a problem when trying to get employment. Shelters also are not often an option because they tend to have long waiting lists and are overcrowded.

The organization that runs the Bridge to Work program says the following on their website: “There are no saints here. There are no people here who are perfect.”

“We are a diverse community of imperfect, broken people who are searching for something bigger than ourselves, something vibrant, something meaningful, something mystifying, something improbably satisfying.”

The homeless who are participating in the program are enthusiastic about the opportunity.

“Honest work,” said Dan “Beast” Woodring. “Just trying to find work, make money.”

The goal of the program is to provide people with more than temporary employment. It is to get them an education, rehabilitate and provide them with full-time employment so they can get out of homelessness. When the trial ends, many hope to go into a more stable, full-time position.

Harond Goodlow Jr., another participant in the program, said: “It’s positive. I’m giving back and making money, setting an example for my son.”

“The goal is to give them a day’s work and a day’s pay, but also the opportunity to connect to services that can help them to get full employment, or whatever the next step is,” said Associate Pastor Paul Atkins with Canvas Community Church.

Atkins is appreciative of the support the city provides.

“Everybody’s been really great and supportive and cooperative,” he added.

If the program proves to be successful it may be continued by the city and offer opportunities to other homeless people.



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