Austin Texas Pays Homeless People $15 An Hour To Clean The City

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Homelessness has been a major problem in the USA for a long time. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report of 2018 estimated that about 553,000 people were homeless in the country. Such a situation can remain persistent and render many people jobless as at every job a permanent address is required.

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The Other Ones Foundation (OOF) has come forward with ways to help these people with employment and some initial help. OOF is trying to bring these unfortunate people back into the mainstream of society. Their target is to enable these people to be independent and they intend to provide them support, shelter, and nourishment. 

OOF is providing employment opportunities where it won’t be obligatory for the employees to provide their permanent address. Their work involves participants who engage in large-scale cleaning of the local environment, public art maintenance, subsidized housing improvements, and enrichment of sheltered animals.

 A payment of $15 is ensured along with lunch and commuting to and from the workplace. They are also offered case management services that promote them to permanent employment as well as housing. OOF has also provided the homeless with a property, the Golden Road, where they can avail facilities like food, laundry, showers, Internet as well as day sleeping hours.  

 OOF has helped most of these homeless individuals with around $100,000 in a year. 24 of such employees have moved into stable houses now. According to the Austin City Council Members, this program has grown over seven times than what it was in 2018. It has proved to be a transformational measure guaranteeing shelter to the neediest. 

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These work crews go to various sites each day, sometimes even during the weekends. Their work includes scrubbing graffiti off walls, cleaning homeless camps, and many such chores.

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The foundation’s executive director, Chris Baker said that more people are willing to work and he is confident that recent funding is going to help in the scaling up of the number of participants. This initiative not only provided jobs to these people but also gave them a sense of worth, hope , and dignity of self. 

The Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, is urging people working in Public Health and Parks and Recreation to collaborate with this program. OOF is now planning to expand its ventures further. They want to spread to other cities and include many more workers in the process. Such a move needs to expand to eradicate poverty, homelessness, and unemployment from the United States. 

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