More Than 100 Homeless People In Denver Land Regular Jobs After City Hired Them To Shovel Mulch
January 23, 2018
A Denver-based day-labor program is helping homeless people get back on their feet.
Credit: Denver Day Works
The Denver Day Works program launched in November 2016. In the first year, Denver Human Services says 284 people worked at least a day — with all but 10 sticking around longer — performing landscaping duties in parks, helping out at the Denver Elections Division, aiding public-works crews and other job assignments. At the end of each shift, they are paid wages of more than $12 an hour.
Of those participants, 110 found full-time work, with 15 landing permanent or project-based city jobs and the rest finding work with dozens of outside private and public employers, the Denver Post reported.
Jeffrey Maes spent four years living on the streets before landing a full-time job retrofitting lights at Denver’s Central Library. On Tuesday, he spoke about how the Denver Day Works program has helped restore his pride.
“When you take a good person (who’s) down, broken, discouraged, and you give them an opportunity to be proud of their self — to stand up and do something for their self — that”s one of the greatest gifts anybody can give to anybody,” Maes told the Denver Post. “And for that, I”d like to say thank you.”
Mayor Michael Hancock says the program’s success “shows what we”ve known all along — that people experiencing homelessness are no different” from other city residents. They are hungry for the opportunity to work hard to achieve their personal dreams and to take their self-sufficiency in their own hands.”
Denver Day Works plans to expand this year by adding a fourth day to its current three-day work week, and by getting more city departments involved.