The mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry, was driving around the city when he was inspired by the sign being held up by a pan handler that simply said: “Want a job. Anything helps.” There are many programs available in the city for the homeless, but many people either don’t know about them, or thought that they wouldn’t be qualified so they didn’t even try to apply in the first place. He decided to do something about the problem, and so far, his efforts have paid off in a big way.
He created a program that drives around and offers stray homeless people the chance to have a job for one day. It pays $9 per hour and gives anyone a chance. They drive around the city and clean up debris, trash, and excess foliage to keep the areas clean. They are also given a lunch, and at the end of the day, they are issued a check for their work.
It gives them a chance to prove that although they are homeless, they aren’t lost causes. They are signed up for rehabilitation programs, temporary or permanent housing programs, and many have found permanent employment after proving that they were reliable and capable of holding down a job. The program is impressive because it does something that people never thought would work. It gives the homeless a chance to better themselves, and the city has never looked more beautiful.
In the months that the program was started, 196 city blocks have been cleaned, and over 900 jobs have been given to people willing to earn a daily wage, and 100 pan handlers have found permanent employment, keeping them off of the streets.
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