Phoenix and the Phoenix Rescue Mission have begun an employment program for the homeless to earn a daily wage and receive support services.
The city announced the start of Phoenix Works earlier this month, saying the goal is to put people experiencing homelessness “on a path to financial independence and housing.”
Participants will earn $65 for a five-hour shift, participating in various beautification projects throughout Phoenix. They also will be provided breakfast and lunch during each shift.
“Employment is key when we’re talking about overcoming homelessness,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said.
“I’m pleased with the Phoenix Works program’s focus on finding that for people and following it up with case management services that support securing steady employment, permanent housing and self-sustainability.”
In March 2022, Gallego and the Phoenix City Council approved $1.5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to support the partnership.
Phoenix is the third city to partner with the Mission on the program.
From July 2021 to June 2022, the Glendale and Scottsdale Works programs worked with 421 individuals. During that period, the Mission assisted 36 men and women in obtaining and moving into housing via long-term or emergency housing vouchers, according to a release.
“Our goal with this program is to assist people faced with insurmountable, life-controlling problems by offering them the opportunity to earn money and connect with services,” Phoenix Rescue Mission CEO Ken Brissa said.
“Phoenix Works will bring meaningful solutions to people experiencing homelessness, instilling them with a sense of dignity and self-worth while giving neighborhoods a cleaner and safer appearance.”
Participants will earn a cash payout for the day to help complete a variety of community projects, the release stated.
Recently, participants cleaned up a stretch of the Grand Canal from 40th to 51st Avenues, clearing trash, debris and overgrown brush from the area.
“Additional neighborhood beautification projects, such as park revitalization and cleaning and maintaining public walkways and event venues, will provide a benefit for the larger community,” the release stated.
At the end of each day, participants can meet one-on-one with case managers to connect them with resources to help them secure identification, employment and housing.
“Building relationships through case management is an essential step toward helping people end their homelessness,” Rachel Milne, director of the Phoenix Office of Homeless Solutions, said.
“By establishing those connections and daily touchpoints between participants and case managers, we can help get people off the streets and on the path to being housed, healthy and employed.”
For more: phxmission.org/willwork.