San Diego pays homeless people to pick up trash

San Diego officials are putting homeless people back on the street — but this time to pay them to pick up trash as part of a new program that launched Monday.

The homeless people, who are staying at the city’s tented shelters, will be cleaning up trash and clearing brush in downtown San Diego for five hours a day, FOX5 San Diego reported. The program, called Alpha’s Project’s “Wheels of Change,” will pay participants $11.50 an hour and expected to hold cleaning shifts three days a week.

“This is all about creating more opportunities for homeless individuals to lift themselves out of extreme poverty,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “‘Wheels for Change’ will help restore dignity by allowing people to earn a paycheck and begin to get back on their feet. For many, this may be just the chance they need to begin turning their lives around.”

Program participants will also receive access to housing resources.  On Monday, participants cleaned up trash for a span of 12 blocks, Alpha Project CEO Bob McElroy told the San Diego Union-Tribune. He assured the money the homeless was receiving will be used productively.

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