Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Elk Grove pays its homeless residents to clean their campsites

Elk Grove pays its homeless residents to clean their campsites



A pilot project in Elk Grove is paying homeless residents to clean up their living areas, and it is changing the city’s culture. The idea comes from a conversation with one of the city’s police sergeants, said Sarah Bontrager, head of housing and public services. for Elk Grove. “We met to talk about homelessness, and from my perspective, I wanted to build better relationships with people who experienced homelessness, and he would address some of the complaints that come to his officers,” Bontrager told CNN. The first complaint about homelessness was the amount of waste. “Our public works staff did past camp cleanups … and just spent a lot of time and money doing it. We also wanted a way to reduce interactions at early stages of Covid,”

; she said. So they came up with the idea of ​​offering an incentive to those living in homeless camps to clean up their area so staff could spend less time picking up trash. “W e distribute the trash and we go out each second week to pick up the trash, and if they have it in the bag, they are entitled to up to $ 20 in gift cards to a grocery store, “Bontrager said. Recipients can use the gift card on anything other than cigarettes and alcohol. Bontrager said they usually use them for food or hygiene items. Many of the homeless residents have expressed how grateful they are to be able to choose things for themselves instead of relying on shelter or other charities, she said. and the homeless community. They have even been able to find housing for some of the participants. In addition to the social benefit, it saves the city a lot of money for the same work. For nearly a year, Bontrager said the program has only spent $ 10,000 of its $ 15,000 budget. She said the city’s efforts cost at least $ 1,000 each time the city cleaned up a camp. “It easily costs $ 1,000 in staff and equipment, so we save thousands of dollars for those put back into other urban projects,” she said. , Bontrager said that what sets their program apart from some others that have similar structures is that theirs is the only one she knows of that provides incentives to take care of their own space.

A pilot project in Elk Grove is paying homeless residents to clean up their living areas, and it is changing the city’s culture.

The idea came from a conversation with one of the city’s police sergeants, said Sarah Bontrager, head of housing and public services for Elk Grove.

“We met to talk about homelessness, and from my perspective I wanted to build better relationships with people who experienced homelessness, and he wanted to address some of the complaints that come to his officers,” Bontrager told CNN.

The first complaint about homelessness was the amount of waste.

“Our public works staff did past camp cleanups … and just spent a lot of time and money doing it. We also wanted a way to reduce interactions in the early stages of Covid,” she said.

So they came up with the idea of ​​offering an incentive to those living in homeless camps to clean up their area so staff could spend less time picking up trash.

“We distribute the trash and we go out every other week to pick up the trash, and if they have it in the bag, they are entitled to up to $ 20 in gift cards to a grocery store,” Bontrager said.

Recipients can use the gift cards on anything other than cigarettes and alcohol. Bontrager said they usually use them for food or hygiene items. Many of the homeless residents have expressed how grateful they are to be able to choose things for themselves instead of relying on shelter or other charities, she said.

Bontrager said the program has significantly improved relations between city officials, such as police officers, and the homeless community. They have even been able to find accommodation for some of the participants.

In addition to the social benefit, it saves the city a lot of money for the same work. For nearly a year, Bontrager said the program has only spent $ 10,000 of its $ 15,000 budget. She said the city’s efforts cost at least $ 1,000 each time the city cleaned up a camp.

“It easily costs $ 1,000 in staff and equipment, so we save thousands of dollars for those put back into other urban projects,” she said.

Overall, Bontrager said that what sets their program apart from some others that have similar structures is that theirs is the only one she knows of that provides incentives to take care of their own space.


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