A Detroit Church is Paying Homeless People to Clean Up The City

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there were roughly 554,000 homeless people. A total of 193,000 of those people were “unsheltered,” meaning that they were living on the streets and had no access to emergency shelters, transitional housing, or Safe Havens. Despite a booming stock market and strong economic growth, a large swathe of America is still struggling to make ends meet.


In America, cities with tents and homeless camps are considered as a normal thing, there are ordinary Americas who are willing to help these homeless people, however, they have given certain restrictions from law enforcement agencies, they are arresting citizens and members of churches and charity organizations who feed the homeless in public.

What can be done? It’s doubtful whether housing prices will fall enough to allow more people to afford to house. It’s unlikely that the opioid epidemic will end itself overnight. It’s unlikely that the criminal justice system will all of a sudden stop turning normal people who choose to possess and consume a plant into felons who aren’t allowed to get work or decent housing. It’s unlikely that the endless wars will finally end and our soldiers stop coming back from PTSD causing deployments.

We have to support other people, and the charitable organization, ‘A Better Way Detroit‘ is doing this by compensating local homeless people ten dollars per hour to clean up the city and allowing them to take a part in the improvement of the community. This project is funded in part by donations raised in charity from members of the church and surrounding community, and the objective of this is to giving new hope to members of this Detroit community.

The money the men are getting paid isn’t coming from someone’s bank account or a governmental program. It’s coming from donations sent to the Better WAY Detroit initiative, which is hosted out of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. Designed to help put a little cash in the pockets of the homeless, it uses the honest-work-for-honest-pay code and cleans up the city in the process. [Source]

The program would be the brainchild of Father Marko Djonovic of the Midtown parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, whose finding the attempt to be extremely exciting and inspiring.

A few times a week, Djonovic drives his large white suburban truck to shelters and sites where he knows homeless people sleep. Each time, different people are given the opportunity to help clean up a part of the city and get $10 an hour for their work. While the initiative started as a way to clean up Detroit’s public parks, it has evolved into a system of beautifying some of the city’s blighted neighborhoods.
On March 14, it was an empty house’s backyard that’s been the site of illegal dumping, overgrown with dead wood and weeds. [Source]

As per the homeless people, the project is a great advantage for them, especially in such a difficult situation. The project is working closely with the city parks organization to help increase public parks so that more people and children will spend time outside.

“Work is good. Everybody likes money, so what’s wrong with a little work… Take negative situations and turn them into positive situations. This is a positive situation. We’re earning money without panhandling. Instead of standing on the freeway begging people for change, we’re earning something.” ~Winfield Jackson, homeless

This is the video of Father Djonovic speaking about the project and the influence it is having on the city. The project is monetarily unmaintainable at present, given that it relies on charity and on his own personal contributions, and that financial support is wanted to keep it going and to help it develop. You can contribute to the project, here.

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
― Barack Obama

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