A Hand Up: Little Rock, Ark. Paying the Homeless $9.25/Hr. to Pick Up Trash

Nick Kangadis | September 10, 2019
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If your city can attempt to tackle two problems with one solution, wouldn’t if behoove said city to at least give it a try? The city of Little Rock, Arkansas has been trying to address the issues of homelessness and excessive trash for the last six months. Now, the mayor of Little Rock is trying to renew the city’s commitment to both issues.

Mayor Frank Scott Jr. recently said that he wants to extend a program that pays homeless people to pick up trash around the Little Rock. The extension would see the program, which pays homeless people $9.25 an hour to pick up trash, run through September 2020, according to 12 News Now.

Through the first six months of The Bridge to Work program, the amount of time the program was supposed to last, the 380 people that joined work crews at one point or another cleaned up 130 sites, worked 1,821 hours and picked up 2,056 bags of trash.

The city spent $80,000 through those first six months, and saw some participants in the program work “more than once.”

The Canvas Community Church has been in charge of the program since it began, and they hope to get volunteers to donate their time to the homeless people participating in order to give them “a sense of community.”

“You know, that’s the kind of thing that you and I probably had from our families, and churches and synagogues and schools,” Associate Pastor Paul Atkins said. “You know, we had it all around us, and that kept holding us up and pushing us forward. Our people have lost that, either because they did something to burn a bridge, or the bridge just fell in behind them, and they just need that extra support.”

That’s definitely the type of program that I’d rather my tax dollars go toward, as long as it remains solvent and needed. Programs, like The Bridge to Work, make it so you’re trying to give someone who has fallen on hard times a hand up instead of a handout.

H/T: Fox Business