The City of Vancouver is continuing its long-running program of providing funding to local non-profit organizations towards generating street cleaning jobs for low-income residents and the homeless.
Throughout 2019, a total grant of $1.21 million will be split between seven non-profit organizations that closely work with low-income residents and the homeless, including United We Can, Tides Canada Initiatives Society’s Binners’ Project, The Kettle Friendship Society’s SEED Employment Program, and Family Services of Greater Vancouver’s Street Youth Job Action.
The micro-cleaning services provide meaningful, low-barrier job opportunities for people in need, while also complementing the cleaning work by crews with the municipal government and contract crews of various business improvement associations.
These jobs involve collecting needles and garbage using brooms, shovels, and stray shopping carts. It differentiates from the work of city crews, which mainly involves emptying public garbage cans and collecting garbage using sweepers, flushers, and vehicles.
Last year, this grant program led to the micro-cleaning of 400 city blocks, the creation of 55,000 work hours to individuals with barriers to traditional employment, and the collection of 14,800 bags of litter, 72,200 needles from streets, and 81,000 littered single-use items such as plastic bags, coffee cups, and foam take-out containers.