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Local program reducing homelessness in Tucson by offering jobs twice a week

Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 20:16:13-04

A non-profit work program is helping to reduce homelessness while beautifying Tucson. 

The Tucson Homeless Work Program pays the homeless to clean up trash along streets and washes in the city. 

Six participants will work for about five hours and make $50 at the end of their day. 

The program is made up of officials from the city and Pima County, as well as community partners.

Daniel Tearne has been homeless on and off for three years. He says he's participated in the program three times and about to get an apartment.

"The money I have been earning here I have been saving for dishes and you know toilet paper and towels and a microwave so this program has really been a blessing and I got a new pair of shoes out of it so its been great," Tearne said.  

Since the program began in December, 90 people have participated. Out of those, 10 found housing, 13 found employment and 6 enrolled in behavior health treatment programs. 

"It affects people all just from their confidence to getting housing, employment signed up for behavioral health services if they need it, and getting connected to the right resources," said De Anna Barber, a community engagement specialist for the Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona.

Barber says from the success in the past couple months, the program's partners are in talks about expanding the program to more than two days a week.