Beg For Cash Or Work For Money In Memphis City Program

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - The pay comes from you taxpayers. $9 an hour for homeless folks to pick up trash in Memphis. The goal is not just a clean city, but a reformed person with a real job who gets off the streets. Local 24's Mike Matthews has more.
 
Memphis has more than its fair share of trash. 
They have decided one way to "clean up" would be to hire homeless folks, and pay them $9 an hour. They hope people who haven't had personal dignity or respect for years start realizing the importance of earning a paycheck. And right now it seems to be working. 
 
In November, the city partnered with Hospitality Hub, an organization that works with those folks who are homeless, or people who beg for money.
The work is nasty; the pay is ok.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland likes the program.
He laid out the statistics. "69 total program participants. Five of those have already enrolled in a job training program and three have been placed in a permanent job."
 
That might not sound like a big deal.
But there are many cities where the homeless are considered less than human.
Not here; not in there "Work Local" program.
It only happens two days a week, for now, says Memphis Public Works Director Robert Knecht. "We're hoping to expand it and grow it," he says.
 
Knecht says when the program participants get their checks, you can see them stand a little straighter, as though a change is happening right before his eyes. "We're basically bringing the homeless and panhandlers into the community," Knecht says. "They're picking up litter, picking up blight. I mean they average 60 to 70 bags of litter removal. They're picking up tires. They're doing a lot of tremendous things."
 
Officials say the program can make a dent in a huge panhandling and homeless problem in Memphis, and that makes life better for everybody.
"There's nothing negative to be said about it," exclaims Knecht. "It's all positive."
 

Don't Miss

  • Find It
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Win Tickets to See the RiverKings
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • You Could Get Your Mortgage Paid for a Year!
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Featured Employers
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Latest News