GLENDALE, AZ — Glendale is partnering with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to test a program that gives people experiencing homelessness the opportunity to earn money and create a plan with a case worker to find housing and employment.
"Once they come a couple times they start realizing they're a lot more capable of things that they didn't think they were," said Gabe Priddy, who helps lead the Glendale Works program.
Since launching in November, Priddy said the program has helped around 80 different people. Participants sign up in advance and are picked up from the First United Methodist Church in downtown Glendale. They're then taken to a park or public place in the city where they conduct landscaping work for five hours.
Each member of the group receives breakfast, lunch and, at the end of the day, $55 in cash.
Priddy said, as of right now, they can accommodate up to eight people a day and priority is given to those who have never taken part before in an effort to reach as many people as possible.
Virginia Gibbons told ABC15 the program is allowing her to begin "taking control of (her) destiny."
"They've helped me get my social security card and we're on the brink of getting my birth certificate," she said, both keys to her goal of obtaining long-term employment and moving back with her family across the country.
Priddy said the Phoenix Rescue Mission hopes to expand the program to other parts of the city and throughout the Valley.