South Bay News
SJ campaign gives homeless jobs, cleaner creek
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A new campaign to clean up trash along a San Jose creek aims to create jobs for the homeless who live along its banks and it might change lives.
The problem is obvious -- trash lines San Jose's Coyote Creek for miles. Much of it is generated by the hundreds of homeless who camp out there. The Environmental Protection Agency, with help from local groups, plans to hire the homeless to do the clean-up.
Jim Kenny has lived near the creek for four years. The prospect of a job and a cleaner environment intrigues him.
"It'll help an awful lot of people get off their petunias and say, 'Hey, this is where I live. This program's going to help me get back into the swing of things,'" said Kenny.
One of the agencies involved -- Destination: Home -- believes the approach will foster hope among the homeless.
"It's an opportunity to be able to reconnect with folks and offer a partnership in terms of restoring the environment and helping them find housing," said Destination: Home executive director Jennifer Loving.
How much the homeless can earn hasn't been announced. Almost $1 million in funding is coming from public and private sources. A long-time homeless advocate Pastor Scott Wagers, from Cham Deliverance Ministry, says the program holds promise.
"A job does give hope and so jobs are an integral part of peoples' psychological well-being on the streets, and so you give them that empowerment, they work toward a goal, housing is the ultimate solution, but having a job temporarily is a good start," said Pastor Wagers.
Kenny, who used to work in financial services, thinks the program will succeed only if some of the homeless jump in and lead by example. When asked if he was going to be that person, Kenny said, "Sold! Yes."
The clean-up campaign starts next month and it will be a big job with all the trash along the creek, not to mention all the mosquitoes and the poison oak.
san jose, jobs, homeless, south bay news, david louie
- BART to give sneak peek of fleet of the future 35 min ago
- Residents unable to return home after SF fire
- 2 people shot at Richmond strip mall
- Martinez parents struggle to stay at baby son's side
- One killed in residential fire in San Francisco 7 min ago
- SF leaders to announce plan to deal with "420" events
- Woman attempting run from San Francisco to New York 51 min ago
- Congresswomen support Cal sexual assault victims
- Man charged with hoax near marathon finish line
- Revolutionary surgery for girl mauled by pet raccoon
- Consumer Reports evaluates best toilet papers
- VIRAL VIDEO: "World's toughest job" interview
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Wednesday
- roundup: Youth coach sentenced; SF two-alarm fire
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos