Arkansas City Is Paying $9.25 An Hour For Homeless People To Pick Up Litter
Little Rock is the capital city in the state of Arkansas, US. It's also somewhere homeless people can be paid $9.25 (£7.50) an hour to pick up litter from the streets.
The programme - dubbed 'Bridge to Work' - is paying more than the US nationwide minimum wage of $7.25 (£5.80), and the aim is to get people's lives back on track and clean up the streets. The minimum wage in the state of Arkansas is $9.25.
According to the MailOnline, the scheme was initially a six-month trial, but Mayor Frank Scott Jr was so impressed with the results he is proposing to extend it through to September 2020.
The scheme, which is managed by the Canvas Community Church, has had $80,000 (£65k) spent on it by the city.
Pastor Paul Atkins told 12 News Now: "We're super excited about what has gone on, and we hope to be able to keep the momentum going."
He added: "We want to work with them on their next step. There are a lot of barriers that our people experience to go from homelessness and panhandling to full-time work. There's a lot of steps in between."
Participants of the project have also been offered physical and mental health treatment, job interviews and - for some - even a roof over their head.
There have been approximately 380 people that have signed up for the scheme. They work in teams of eight and have put in more than 1,832 hours with more than 2,000 bags of rubbish cleared.
Many have signed themselves up through the church, with a large minority joining after they were approached on the streets.
When Felecia Cooks, one of the local leaders, heard the plans to renew the programme up to 2020, she said: "I just knew. I never had a doubt. I never had a doubt because I knew our potential and I knew that we would get to this point. And so, it made me just want to just cry out with tears of joy."
Many have been quick to praise the scheme, one said: "Other states should adopt this too. It will benefit the city and the large number of homeless."
Another added: "Great idea at least you are trying to better your community in more ways than one."
A third wrote: "About time. Brilliant, give these people a chance. Being homeless can happen to anyone this country needs to do more to help it's own".
Featured Image Credit: THV11