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Denver 246Denver Day Works

Following on from my blog about Albuquerque’s There’s a Better Way programme, here is another example in the city of Denver.

The Denver Day Works program, which launched on November 1st, 2016, pays homeless residents $12.50 (£10) per hour to perform public service work for the city.

Since the programme started, more than 300 people have participated, and 145 of those participants found permanent employment, and more than $352,700 (£280,000) in wages/benefits have been paid across a variety of different work sites.

The first step in becoming a Denver Day Works participant is to attend an orientation. Orientations are held on Mondays. Eligible participants must be experiencing homelessness, be age 18 or older, and be searching for work. No background checks are required.

Participants work one day a week (Tuesday - Thursday) for 10 weeks. The six-hour “work experience” is from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., starting and ending in Civic Center Park. For each day of work, participants receive; breakfast and lunch, $70 (£55) cash (if in possession of ID and Social Security Card) or a $70 gift card to Walmart, King Soopers, or Safeway, and a bus ticket.

Additionally, each participant meets for 30-60 minutes with an employment specialist and/or assistance navigator.

The work varies from mulching flower beds in Denver’s parks, to performing clerical work at the local library.

Follow Larry Torres' emotional story in this 5 min video:

More details here.

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Geoff Knott, 12/03/2019

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