Broadcast from the Bins - The LA Clean Up

Broadcast from the Bins - The LA Clean Up

Broadcast from the Bins 6th November


The Los Angeles Clean Up Programme That’s Helping the Homeless

Los Angeles City Council are considering plans to employ homeless people to help clear up rubbish from the city’s streets.

Why are the plans being proposed?

The city council receives around 200 reports and complaints about litter and other waste every day, and it is one of the top 3 issues reported to the council.

Some people blame the camps set up by the homeless for the increase in rubbish, and the situation had become such an issue that the introduction of a pilot programme is being proposed.

How would the programme work?

The proposal put to councillors will say that the day to day clearing of litter could be outsourced to organisations that could recruit homeless people to help. Homeless people are considered to be difficult to employ, as they often move around frequently, and sometimes have issues with substance misuse.

Clean Streets, Clean Starts

Los Angeles is not the first area to offer clean-up jobs to homeless people. The council in Northridge have been running a programme called Clean Streets, Clean Starts, which offers gift cards for supermarkets and meals to homeless people in exchange for them helping to clean up their local community. Nearby councils, and some local organisations, in the San Fernando Valley, have expressed an interest in running a similar programme.

The San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission

This not-for-profit organisation runs a family shelter for homeless people as well as providing them with numerous other services. The mission has formed a partnership with Northridge South and Northridge East Neighbourhood Councils, to recruit homeless people to help with clean ups and general maintenance activities, and in return, they are given gift cards for the day to day items they need, plus a meal every day. As well as providing them with work and essentials, they help them to develop their skills, and offer them mentorship. It is hoped that additional training will develop their skills and confidence so they are more ready for employment. The current participants are in week 2 of an 8-week programme, and they have already planted shrubs and trees, removed weeds and debris from public spaces, and cleared litter from walkways and cycle ways.