Inspiring

After Denver Hired Homeless People to do Day Labor, More Than 100 Land Full-Time Jobs

A city program in Denver helped over 100 homeless people land regular jobs in just its first year, The Denver Post reports.

The Denver Day Works program launched in November 2016.

According to Denver Human Services, 284 people worked at least a day and more than 270 worked more.

People were assigned jobs like landscaping in the park, helping the Denver Elections Division, supporting public works crews, and other day labor jobs.

The program helped 110 of the people find full-time jobs with 15 different city jobs or projects or dozens of outside private and public employers.

Mayor Michael Hancock said that the program will expand next year after exceeding most of their goals in the first year.

Via Denver Post:

Denver Day Works, run by contractor Bayaud Enterprises, has organized work crews three days a week. Next month, it will add a fourth day, with a fifth shift planned later in the year.

That will allow an increase in capacity that may reduce the waitlist that stretched to eight weeks at times in 2017. The city also plans to get more departments involved, offering varied work opportunities that might better attract women, minorities and the disabled as participants.

“When you take a good person (who’s) down, broken, discouraged, and you give them an opportunity to be proud of their self — to stand up and do something for their self — that’s one of the greatest gifts anybody can give to anybody,” said one of the participants, 57-year-old Jeffrey Maes. “And for that, I’d like to say thank you.”

Mayor Hancock said the program “shows what we’ve known all along — that people experiencing homelessness are no different.”

“They are hungry for the opportunity to work hard to achieve their personal dreams and to take their self-sufficiency in their own hands,” he said.