Arkansas program paying homeless minimum wage to pick up trash

Published: Apr. 12, 2019 at 1:01 PM CDT
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Homeless people in Little Rock are picking up trash to pick up their lives as part of the new Bridge to Work program.

The City of Little Rock passed an ordinance in March that will pay homeless people $9.25 per hour, the minimum wage in Arkansas, to help pick up trash in the city.

Canvas Community Church runs the pilot program, which pays homeless people to collect litter in the city. People can work four hours a day for three days a week, according to the ordinance.

"I’m basically trying to change my life," said Alexander Williams who is a supervisor and driver in the program. He’s trying to transition out of homelessness.

The program will receive $80,000 in funding from the Public Works Department. It is set to run from April 1 to September 27.

"It’s positive. I’m giving back and making money, setting an example for my son," said Harond Goodlow Jr., a participant in the Bridge to Work program.

Two supervisors will also be hired for the program and will be paid $11 per hour. A supervisor would help pick up employees and transport them to and form work sites.