SAN JOSE — Mayor Liccardo, Downtown Streets Team, and Goodwill recently announced a new City pilot program to employ homeless residents to combat litter and blight across the city, as a part of Mayor Liccardo’s #BeautifySJ initiative. The program aims to transition homeless individuals into jobs, encourage work readiness, and pay hourly training wages to homeless individuals who pick up litter at more than 40 identified hotspots along major San Jose roadways.
“As we’ve seen the trash and debris coming from homeless encampments mount, too often our homeless residents are dismissed simply as ‘the problem’,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.
“We intend to show that our work-ready homeless residents can become, and want to become, part of ‘the solution’—both for themselves, and for our community. Through this employment partnership with Downtown Streets Team and Goodwill, we’ll beautify and clean our city, while providing dozens of homeless individuals a path to self-sufficiency.”
Through this City-sponsored program, Downtown Streets Team and Goodwill will collectively hire more than 25 homeless residents, who will be paid a training wage of $15/hour to help pick up litter. Crews will work 4-5 hours every day, and target more than 40 identified litter “hotspots” every one-to-two weeks.
“Goodwill’s mission aligns perfectly with the Mayor’s initiative by giving people a hand up against a hand out,” said Trish Dorsey of Goodwill. “This will help people transition back to work in a supportive environment while being a key contributor to #BeautifySJ.”
“This is the next rung on the ladder of success for our Team Members, and we are thrilled to be working with our innovative Mayor once again,” said Eileen Richardson of Downtown Streets Team. “Employment is one of the critical factors for ending homelessness and keeping people housed.”
The City’s Department of Transportation and Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services, will jointly administer the program, which will be funded by a $200,000 grant that was approved by the Mayor and City Council earlier this year to expand litter abatement efforts.
In addition, Normandin Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram has generously contributed two deeply discounted trucks to support the program.
“Normandin Chrysler and family are honored to be part of this new program that’s a win-win,” said Scott Normandin. “Supporting the program with vehicles will help get people out of homelessness by getting them stable jobs, and help our community look better by cleaning our streets.”
The new litter abatement crews will hit the streets in November.