Fort Worth Paying Homeless to Pick Up Trash

The city of Houston is starting its annual homeless count Tuesday, while officials continue to consider all options to reduce the number of those still living on the streets.

The city of Fort Worth is actually paying homeless people $10 an hour to pick up trash as part of program dubbed "Clean Slate" through one of its shelters. 

Marc Eichenbaum, deputy special assistant to Houston’s mayor for homeless initiatives, says they have their own version called "Income Now."

"We've been able to get over 1,000 homeless individuals, in less than two years, jobs and income immediately, and that in itself can help people out of homelessness," he says.

"Giving somebody a couple hours one week and then a couple hours the next week does not provide the stability or enough income so they can live a stable and healthy life," he says.

But Eichenbaum says those programs tackle only a small part of the problem, that's why Houston is looking for a much broader solution.

"There can be lots of viable good programs, but we tend to focus on the one where we can get the biggest bang for the buck and where we can maximize the number of people whose lives we can change so we can have a true impact on the streets for all Houstonians," he says.

Last year's homeless count in Houston was 3,600.  That was down 60% since 2011.

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