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Work program for homeless people in Tucson is expanding

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 01:25:17-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) A work program for homeless people in Tucson is expanding, according to a press release from Tucson city council member Richard Fimbres.

Under the Tucson Homeless Work Program homeless people are hired to clean up parts of the city that need help.

Two days a week agencies pick up homeless people, take them to an area to work for half a day, then take them to get food, medical care and other counseling services in the afternoon.

The program is now expanding to three days a week. Beginning in July Sister Jose Women's Center and Pima Animal Care Center will be included in the program, Fimbres reported.

Sister Jose Women's Center assists homeless woman in Tucson and had around 1,300 visits last month.

Michele Figuero with PACC says women from the center will visit PACC for five hours once a week and help with laundry, making treats for animals and preparing volunteer information packets. They will help with all things that don't involve direct contact with animals.

Below are a number of statistics from Fimbres regarding the program which started in December: 

  • 166 people have participated in the program.
  • More than 37,000 pounds of trash has been picked up.
  • 17 people have found housing.
  • 20 people have started working with the Sullivan Jackson Employment team, or found other jobs.

In April KGUN9 met Daniel Tearne, who had been homeless on and off for three years. He participated in the program a number of times and was planning on getting 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.  

The city of Tucson and Pima County each donated $25,000 dollars to get the program going. Since then a number of local businesses have contributed including HSL Properties, Cox Communications, Southwest Gas, Tucson Medical Center and Walmart.