There are an estimated 567,715 homeless people living in the United States today and the number has been rising in the last two years. Many of those without homes are desperate to get back on their feet, but often struggle to find jobs based on their low social status and lack of address. That’s why non-profit organization The Other Ones Foundation in Austin, Texas created the Workforce First Program—an initiative that provides paid jobs to the homeless.
The program gives people suffering from poverty a sense of self-worth and the opportunity to become part of the local community. “We’re all about the marginalized. The vulnerable,” says OOF. “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 organization offers jobs in environmental clean up, subsidized housing improvements, public art maintenance, and sheltered animal enrichment. Workers earn $15 per hour and are provided with lunch and transportation to their worksite.
“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,” say OOF. “We have already enjoyed a great deal of success.” In just under a year, the program paid out over $200,000 in earned income to individuals, 40 of which have now moved into stable housing.
Find out more about The Other Ones Foundation here, where you can also donate to the worthy cause.