Homeless individuals in Chula Vista can be employed to paint and clean city parks in exchange for cash as part of a collaboration between the South Bay city and the Work for Hope rehabilitation program.
Those who are selected for the employment will help revitalize the city by completing beautification projects, such as painting city park restrooms, picnic gazebos and benches. The labor will be done over a three-day work week and participants will be paid in cash.
In addition to the payment, Work for Hope offers participants vocational rehabilitation training, help with transportation, like skills instructions, assists them with job readiness and when possible, helps with housing. Since the rehabilitation program first started in Chula Vista two years ago, Work for Hope has helped secure employment and housing for 27 people.
Since the beginning of its employment program for homeless residents, 76 Chula Vista bathrooms have had their interiors painted. Plans are set to paint the exterior next and have participants complete other beautification projects as part of their work.
McAlister Institute, which offers substance abuse and drug intervention services, runs the Work for Hope program. The institute works closely with the Chula Vista Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) and the Park Ranger Division’s Operation Pride.
Initial funding for the program was provided by a Kaiser Foundation grant. More funds were allocated for Work for Hope from the Lucky Duck Foundation and the city’s Housing Division.