Tags: kevin barber | homeless | san diego | jobs

Kevin Barber, 16, Helps Homeless in San Diego Get Jobs

Kevin Barber, 16, Helps Homeless in San Diego Get Jobs

(Kim Reinick/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 08 March 2018 06:05 PM

Teen Kevin Barber is helping put homeless people in San Diego to work cleaning up the city in exchange for hourly pay and access to city services.

Barber got the idea to start Wheels for Change from a TED Talk that showed a similar program in Albequerque, New Mexico, and from conversations with his mother Carolyn Barber, an emergency room physician who treats the city's homeless on a daily basis, CNN reported.

"It looked really simple, and the statistics were staggering," the teen told CNN. San Diego has the fourth-largest homeless population in the U.S.

Barber's mother donated $70,000 for the six-month pilot program, in which a van picks up participants from a homeless shelter and transports them to various locations around the city to pick up trash and clean debris from sidewalks and park benches, some of which they used to sleep on, CNN reported.

The Barbers have also gotten help from Bob McElroy, who runs Alpha Project, a nonprofit that has been finding jobs for the homeless for 32 years, the San Diego Union Tribune reported. McElroy was hesitant at first to provide pay to the homeless that might be used to buy drugs and alcohol, but he got behind the program when it was linked to help from local shelter personnel that are helping workers use their pay productively.

The program already has a 100-person waiting list, and those participating are happy to be earning income and giving back to the community, the Tribune reported.

"I get to give back to the community and have some extra money to get around," said Nicole Hill, who plans to use her pay to visit her 5-year-old son who is staying with her parents, the Tribune reported.

"It means everything to me," Regina Meals said, the Tribune reported. "I'm going to start my life all over again."

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Kevin Barber, a San Diego teenager, launched a program to put homeless people in San Diego to work cleaning up the city in exchange for hourly pay and access to city services.
kevin barber, homeless, san diego, jobs
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2018-05-08
Thursday, 08 March 2018 06:05 PM
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