This Texas city is paying homeless people to pick up trash - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

This Texas city is paying homeless people to pick up trash

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FORT WORTH, Texas -

The city of Fort Worth is paying homeless people to pick up trash as part of a new program to clean up the city and turn lives around.

One of the people who works in the program is 53-year-old Frank Crist. Crist makes $10 an hour to pick up litter in an area frequented by the homeless population. Crist told KXAS that he's thankful for the opportunity. 

"It just makes you feel better keeping it cleaned up. It means a lot, with my record and stuff, I really had no other place that would hire me," Crist said.

Crist served prison time for drugs and ended up on the street. He lives at the Presbyterian Night Shelter, which hired him as part of the Clean Slate program. The city pays for the program and the shelter runs it.

"It is a win-win," said Presbyterian Night Shelter CEO Toby Owen. "We want a clean neighborhood that speaks hope, that speaks dignity to our homeless guests. And it also provides income for these individuals so they can move out and be successful without living in a homeless shelter."

According to Owen, the Clean Slate program put 40 people to work last year and about 3,856 tons of trash was collected. Those working for Clean Slate work as janitors for businesses as well. 

KXAS reports that Crist is about to move into an apartment, after almost two years of living in the shelter. He says he'll continue to work at Clean Slate after he moves into his new place.

The city spends about $48,000 a year on the program and the shelter is working with the city to expand it next year.

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