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3:49 PM Tue, Sept. 25th

Homeless work program could help keep city streets, facilities clean

A program that would put homeless people to work could be beneficial not just to those who would be given an opportunity to work, but to the city’s roadsides, golf course, and airport as well.

Prescott Recreation Services Director Joe Baynes said the city has been working on a draft agreement that would set out the terms.

He foresees the program being similar to the city’s successful Community Restitution Program, which puts misdemeanor offenders to work on a variety of community-service tasks, such as clearing weeds, building trails, and cleaning up graffiti.

The work program for the homeless would be separate, Baynes said, and would likely focus on jobs at the golf course, airport, and city rights-of-way.

Tyler Goodman, the city’s special projects and legislative coordinator, said the draft agreement for the work program will be part of an April 10 presentation to the City Council focusing on the homeless issue.

The city proposes using about $9,500 of its bed tax revenue to help pay for the program, Goodman said.

“The idea is to get panhandlers who want to work off the streets,” Goodman said.

Baynes said this could put people to work who might otherwise have a difficult time finding a job.

“We hear that a number of their people would like to work, but they can’t because of past history,” he said.

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