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New program would put homeless to work cleaning up Moreno Valley

By in Press Enterprise on October 4, 2017

By Imran Ghori

Moreno Valley is launching a program for the homeless that will offer them temporary jobs cleaning up the community.

The City Council voted Monday, Oct. 2, to spend $120,000 in federal grant funds for the effort, which could begin as early as November.

The Homeless to Work program, which the council initially agreed to pursue in September, is modeled after similar efforts in cities such as Albuquerque and Denver that were aimed at reducing panhandling.

Panhandlers are becoming increasingly visible in Moreno Valley.

Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez said last month that he spoke with Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry in June at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach about the Albuquerque program.

“It’s been very, very successful,” Gutierrez said.

Riverside started a similar pilot program last year offering five to 10 people landscaping and clean-up jobs and connecting others with job training and placement at local businesses.

Moreno Valley hopes to partner with the Salvation Army, which would also provide funding and oversee the outreach to the homeless, said Marshall Eyerman, chief financial officer for the city.

Participants would work two days a week, five hours per day and be paid $10.50 an hour, according to a staff report. They would be provided with a sack lunch and water. The Salvation Army would transport them in a van.

Participants would pick up litter and debris and clear brush and grass at city parks and other public areas.

They would also be connected with other social service agencies that provide homeless assistance, including food and shelter, city officials say.

A Riverside County Point in Time homeless survey from earlier this year counted 54 homeless residents and observed an additional 19 believed to be homeless in Moreno Valley.

The use of the grant funding still needs to be approved by the federal Housing and Urban Development Department, Eyerman said. A contract with […]    

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