16-Year-Oldand#039;s and#039;Wheels For Changeand#039; Program Is Helping San Diegoand#039;s Homeless Get Jobs


16-Year-Old’s ‘Wheels For Change’ Program Is Helping San Diego’s Homeless Get Jobs

March 9, 2018

The homeless in San Diego are getting jobs, thanks to a 16-year-old boy.

teen helps homeless get jobs
Wheels for Change / CNN

Kevin Barber is helping the homeless get paid with “Wheels for Change”, a program that pays the homeless to clean up the city.

Barber says he got the idea from a TED Talk video showcasing a similar program in Albuquerque that invited the city’s homeless to clean local streets in exchange for wages and access to city services.

Cities across the country have been implementing similar programs, so Barber thought he could start one in San Diego.

teen helps homeless get jobs
Wheels for Change / CNN

Barber and his mother Carolyn, who funded the project for her son, reached out to the city government to start a trial run of the program.

“The program is simple. Several days a week a van will pick up homeless people who express an interest in working. The van will take them to work picking up trash, pulling weeds, clearing brush, etc. At the end of the day, workers will be driven back to Alpha Project, or to the City’s new tent structures for the homeless, and will be compensated for their work. Here they may also possibly get shelter arranged. The goal is to get the homeless connected with social services they need, into housing, and offer them the dignity of working. It empowers people and gives them work. We believe this is a win-win for the City, the homeless, and our community,” Barber wrote on GoFundMe.

teen helps homeless get jobs
Wheels for Change / CNN

Participants in Wheels For Change are paid $11.50 an hour.

The city is considering financing the program moving forward, CNN reports.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” said City Councilman Scott Sherman.


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