— If you want to help out with the Memphis homeless initiative, you may want to be prepared to do so at a little distance.
The city’s homeless initiative announced a new program Wednesday aimed at helping people find jobs and staying in a shelter.
Under the program, businesses can hire homeless people to work at their facilities, with the option to pay the employees a minimum of $2 per hour and offer them a voucher that will allow them to stay in their facility until they receive a paycheck.
Businesses can also offer them cash vouchers to help cover expenses such as rent and utilities, said Jessica Smith, the city of Memphis’ director of economic development.
The initiative is part of the city and the county’s efforts to get more people out of shelters.
It’s also aimed at attracting businesses to the area and creating jobs for the city, Smith said.
The goal of the initiative is to get people off the streets, and it can be done by offering jobs at businesses that provide services to the homeless population, Smith added.
The idea is that they can then come back and apply to work for the businesses, which will help build the local economy, she said.
It’s also an option for businesses to help people get back into their homes, as well, Smith explained.
They can work in the kitchen, as cooks, or in the laundry, she explained.
If they do the latter, they can pay rent and get a voucher to stay, Smith noted.
If a business accepts the voucher, they get a $1.50 bonus that will be used to help pay for rent, utilities, utilities and other necessities.
Smith said there are a variety of ways to apply for the job, from applying for a temporary position in a hotel to volunteering as a janitor, maid, or security guard.