In Little Rock, Arkansas vagrants are given the chance to work their way out of poverty through an initiative that pays them to pick up litter.
Dubbed Bridge to Work, the program has been paying vagrants $9.25 an hour – two bucks more than the federal minimum wage – for keeping the city’s surrounding areas clean. Each day the program pays eight homeless people to pick up trash, clear weeds, and perform other clean up roles. The ultimate goal is to get them connected to services for stable work, education, rehab, or whatever else they need in order to get out of homelessness.
The Bridge to Work scheme was initially a six-month trial, but following its success and support, the city’s mayor decided to extend it for one more year.