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New homeless work program debuts in Denver

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Posted at 12:17 PM, Nov 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-02 14:17:54-04

DENVER -- If you see extra crews around Denver parks planting trees, cleaning up, or doing maintenance they may be part of a new work program for area homeless.

It's called "Denver Day Works," that employs homeless people on a one-day basis to do work and pay them same-day.
 
It's a one year pilot program that kicked off by hiring a dozen people per day, paying them $12.49 per hour, paid out in cash or gift card. 
 
“Many of Denver’s homeless need work now, not the promise of work tomorrow, and Denver Day Works will provide them the opportunity to access the program through the outreach teams who are connecting with them every day,” Mayor Michael Hancock said. 
 
According to a Parks and Recreation official, last year the city was short 60 seasonal park employees. They hope that this can be a "job interview and training ground" and lead to future employment. 
 
Denver7 spoke to one worker, who called the program a "lifesaver," and said if it wasn't for the first day of Denver Day Works she'd be in jail. 
 
It is starting with one contractor as a partner, but the city is also reaching out to other private businesses who may be interested in taking part. They're urged to contact Denver Human Services.

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