Anyone who knows the city of San Jose will probably say that it is a beautiful place endowed with incredible architecture and breath-taking art. They may also say that the town has been facing a problem with dumping lately and that there has been an increased rate of trashing especially on the freeway and the creek embankments. To kill two birds with one stone, the city is organizing an effort that will see the town get cleaned up as well as reduce homelessness.
According to the plan, the beginning of November will see that more than twenty-five homeless people are paid fifteen dollars per hour to clean up the city in about forty places. The Mayor, Sam Liccardo, is particularly supportive of this idea and pointed out that the effort was aimed at transforming the lives of dozens of homeless people. He said this as he announced the program from the Downtown Streets Team’s office in the city.
The organization is driven towards helping homeless people back to their feet and supporting them so that they do not fall back. It will team up with Goodwill to hire and manage the participants. Plans are already underway with a contractor offering big discounts on two trucks to contribute to the effort. It is hoped that this particular exercise will go a long way in helping the homeless fellows transition to full-time employment that will help them support themselves as well as their families.
The Tully ballfields is one of the places where the exercise will take place. A remarkable number of homeless families live near that particular neighborhood and families there have been lodging complaints about the environment being ‘unsafe.’ The area is often littered, and the trash is beginning to impact people who live there.
The president of the Senter Monterey Neighborhood Association, Jonathan Fleming, has commented that he fully supports the efforts. The man had been eyeing a seat on the city council earlier this year and had submitted a similar proposal but had sadly not made his way in. Fleming is glad that the workers will be able to derive a sense of purpose from the activity. He also suggested that the workers who will be conducting the exercise talk to the area residents to keep their environment clean. He advised them to gather their trash in one place for collection rather than litter the whole area.
The mayor hopes the program will help change and shape the image of the city. It is to be noted, however, that the homeless should not be blamed solely for the littering. The trash comes from the city’s residents, and they should all be held responsible.
One homeless woman named Christina Gonzalez was accepted as part of the workers who will be running the program. She is very excited about it and can’t wait to start. She has been volunteering with the organization for some time now but really appreciates this particular opportunity. She feels that it will give her a chance to get back on her feet as well as return her confidence and self-esteem. The program is also aimed at helping the city dwellers build a sense of integrity and understand the need to keep their city clean.