In the US, the rate of homelessness has been steadily rising for the past two years. If you go to any major city across the country, there is no denying that this is a serious problem facing our society. In fact, it is estimated today that there are 567,715 homeless people living throughout the country.
Many of these people are struggling to get back on their feet, but they are finding it a very difficult task to accomplish as it’s very hard to find jobs due to their social status and lack of a permanent address.
In an effort to make a difference, The Other Ones Foundation based in Austin, Texas has come up with a new initiative. The non-profit organization headed up the Workforce First Program, which provides homeless people with paying jobs.
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The program affords people stricken by poverty a re-introduction to society by becoming immersed in the local community. Not only that, but it also gives homeless people a refreshed sense of purpose and self-worth.
As OOF states, “We’re all about the marginalized. The vulnerable. Those ‘other ones’ out there living on the fringes. We believe in the extraordinary value of every human life, and that everyone deserves to be fulfilled.”
The jobs that OOF offers are specialized in environmental cleanup, subsidized housing improvements, public art maintenance, and sheltered animal enrichment. For their work, each worker gets a wage of $15 an hour, plus they get provided with lunch and transportation to their worksite.
OOF states, “The dignity and empowerment of work, and the income it brings, serves a major stepping stone to getting our homeless friends on the path to a more fulfilling life. We have already enjoyed a great deal of success.”
It wasn’t even a full year before the program had paid more than $200,000 in income to various individuals – 40 of which were able to move into more secure housing. That is truly amazing!
If you’re curious to find out more about The Other Ones Foundation and how you can get involved with the organization, then click here.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.