Environmental / Human Services / Poverty, Hunger & Shelters

River Cleanup Gives Hope

Homelessness rates have been steadily climbing over the years with over 500,000 people homeless on any given night.  And with the job market tougher than ever, the landscape is becoming bleaker for homeless men and women looking to start a new life.  Reno, NV saw this issue has begun to do something about it.

The have started a $110,000 Pilot Program called Reno Works.  This program gives homeless men and women the opportunity to work rehabilitating the Truckee River, earning money and skills they can take with them to help find permanent work, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

“Many shelter residents want a job desperately, but face many obstacles that prevent them from working,” Pat Cashell, the regional director of Volunteers of America, the nonprofit partnering with the city for Reno Works, told the news outlet. “This program will help remove those barriers so they can obtain employment and feel the pride of standing on their own feet again.”

Reno Works even goes as far as to give them life classes, refer them to affordable housing with a letter of recommendation and give them a certification of completion.  The Reno Works program is 18 weeks long and will have them work 3 days a week.

“It’s more than the money,” Cashell told KRNV. “It’s more about regaining your self-esteem, your self-worth, pride.”

This may not solve all the regions homelessness issues, but it is a great start.  By giving people the opportunity to take the lives into their own hands and work to achieve more, Reno is leading the way in the fight.  This isn’t a handout, it is good, honest work with the chance to turn it into a better life.

Original Article: Cameron Keady, Huffington Post


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