Started last December as a one-year pilot program, the Tucson Homeless Work Program is about to enter its second year, thanks to continued support from the City of Tucson, private donors, and donations to the Tucson Change Movement via special parking meters at 18 locations.
The program, spearheaded by Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres, gives homeless people an opportunity to earn $10 an hour in cash by joining a day-labor crew working to beautify our streets. To date, more than 260 people have participated in the program, 109 locations have been cleaned (including 65 miles of roadway), more than 51,000 pounds of trash and waste have been cleared, 30 people who have participated in the program have been housed, and 42 people have begun working with the Sullivan Jackson Employment team or found other jobs.
Major funding comes from the City of Tucson, Pima County, HSL Properties, Cox Communications, Southwest Gas, Tucson Medical Center, and WalMart. Tucson 12 produced a video about the program shortly after its launch. Watch it to learn more about the program as it was first envisioned, and hear how some of the participants plan to spend their money.