San Jose Is Paying People Without Homes More Than Minimum Wage to Beautify the City

Michele Debczak /

A new initiative in San Jose, California is aiming to make the city a little cleaner while providing employment to homeless residents at the same time. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the city is looking to hire 25 individuals to pick up trash for $15 an hour—$1.50 more than the city's minimum wage.

Starting this November, the new city employees will get to work beautifying 40 "litter hotspots" around San Jose. They will work four to five hours a day, earning up to $75 for one day's work.

The pilot program is a collaboration between the city of San Jose and the nonprofits Goodwill and Downtown Streets Team, an organization that combats homelessness in the Bay Area. Downtown Streets Team has already launched similar initiatives in San Francisco, Berkeley, Hayward, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto.

According one study from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, when asked what help they needed most, 42 percent of homeless people said they needed assistance with finding a job. "Employment is one of the critical factors for ending homelessness and keeping people housed," Downtown Streets Team CEO Eileen Richardson said in a press release.

[h/t San Francisco Chronicle]