Good news to our homeless brothers and sisters! The city of Forth Worth, Texas has come up with a brilliant solution to give its homeless citizens a fresh start. Homeless people are being paid by the city to keep it spotlessly clean, as means of restoring their dignity and giving them a ray of hope.
Finally, the homeless people of Forth Worth are given the opportunity to become productive citizens.
The Clean Slate program is a project of Forth Worth, Texas in hope of destroying the barrier that prevents the homeless from working and becoming a productive citizen of the community.
The objective of this project is to end the cycle of homelessness by providing a steady and sustainable employment that would also restore their pride and dignity. At the same time, the Clean Slate program serves as a beacon of hope for a chance to fresh beginnings.
According to Brandon Bennett, Fort Worth Code Compliance Director, the homeless workers of the Clean Slate Program is just as efficient, if not even better, as your regular worker.
“They’ve been very responsible, in fact, maybe a little more responsible than your everyday employee that gets hired because they feel like there’s something that they need to prove. and that’s how appreciative they are.”
In just a matter of a year, the homeless people working behind the Clean Slate program have collected 3. 856 tons of trash from its littered streets.
The Clean Slate program is also aiming to help its employees transition back to life again. The program is not for a permanent job but a stepping stone for better opportunities.
“The hiring process is unique. A lot of the people that are homeless have criminal records that would prohibit them from working for the city of forth worth and some other employers. They develop an employment record so they can apply for jobs with corporations and other local businesses.”
Workers behind the Clean Slate program are not only found on the streets but on other private companies as well.
“It’s a win-win,” the shelter’s CEO Toby Owen shared in an interview. “We want a clean neighborhood that speaks hope, that speaks dignity to our homeless guests. And it also provides income for these individuals so they can move out and be successful without living in a homeless shelter.”
According to Frank Crist, a 53-year-old resident of the e Presbyterian Night Shelter and one of the first Clean Slate employees, he is making $10 an hour through working with the program. Geared with his brown jumpsuit and neon vest, he roams around the streets with a large bin in tow and plucks litter out of weeds and gutters.
Twice a day, he is able to fill 3 large bins. “It just makes you feel better keeping it cleaned up. It means a lot,” he said. “I mean, with my record and stuff, I really had no other place that would hire me.”
After serving his time in prison for doing drugs, Frank disconnected from his family and also struggled in starting anew. There were no business establishments willing to hire him. Fortunately, due to Clean Slate, after two years of relying on shelters, he is about to move into his own apartment.
“Everything is coming together,” he told the station. “Didn’t think it was ever going to happen again, but now it has.”
Homeless people working with Clean Slate are more than welcome to stay for as long as they want and need. However, the goal of the project is to help them transition into a private workforce.
As of now, Fort Worth has spent about $48,000 with their program, and due to its success, the city government of Fort Worth is negotiating to expand the program next year.
The success of Clean Slate inspired other cities around the US to implement similar programs, offering municipal employment to homeless people. Albuerque, New Mexico and the City of Los Angeles have created a similar program as well for the benefit of their homeless citizens.
In a world where everyone is aiming to become successful, it is very easy to forget about helping others to do better as well. Good thing that there are still people out there who want to advance together with everyone, including the people that sometimes society forgets.
Watch the video below and be inspired by the Clean Slate program, helping our homeless brothers to have a fresh start and new beginnings in life!
Photo and Video | ATTN