Did you know that the phrase “don’t mess with Texas” started as an anti-littering campaign? Since then, it’s been turned into a slogan for the state that goes way beyond doing the right thing when it comes to the beautiful environment of the Lone Star State. Now, one Texas city is pioneering a new initiative that will keep the city cleaner while giving its massive homeless population a way to get out of the difficult situation.
Every night across America, more than half a million people are living on the streets. That’s a lot of homeless people struggling to survive across this country, which is among the richest in the world. While some homeless people are not motivated to improve their lot in life, the vast majority of them are looking for opportunities to get out of a hard spot.
While other cities around the country install “hostile architecture” to keep homeless people away, Austin is giving them jobs. That’s right. Austin has come up with a plan to give homeless people $15 per hour to pick up the reams of trash littered around Texas’s weirdest city. The nonprofit organization behind this initiative believes that homeless people just need a chance to prove themselves. They hope that by giving homeless people an opportunity to make money and improve the city in the process, they’ll be killing two birds with one stone and make Austin an even better city in the process.
The organization behind this initiative is called Other Ones Foundation, which aims to “transition Austin’s homeless neighbors into an engaged community, through shelter, support, nourishment, and love.”
With a mission focused on love, they’re bound to succeed. Who wouldn’t want to support the good work the people at Other Ones Foundation are doing for the city of Austin? The organization helps homeless people get to work without requiring them to have a permanent address, which can be prohibitive for many homeless people.
On the organization’s website, the nonprofit says, “participants engage in the work of large-scale environmental cleanup, subsidized housing improvements, public art maintenance, and sheltered animal enrichment.”
While it is important for Other Ones Foundation to help keep Austin clean, they are also working to do it by elevating the massive homeless population to do good work that can earn them a paycheck.
Not only do the homeless workers get paid a livable wage of $15 per hour for their labor, but they also receive a free lunch in the process. The nonprofit also offers transportation to get the workers to and from the job sites, which all help massively in making Austin a better place to live and work.
Council Member Leslie Pool called the nonprofit’s work “transformational.”
“I think we can all agree that the program represents the kind of solution-based and holistic work that we, as a community, need to do on the homelessness issue.”
The organization has given out $100,000 to homeless people around the city through hours of hard work. They’ve also helped 24 people find stable housing opportunities. They’re doing good work and should be celebrated.
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