BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A group of homeless people from the Bakersfield Homeless Center will begin removing litter from state highways in Kern County starting on Wednesday.
Kern County Supervisor David Couch has confirmed that the county has reached an agreement with the BHC to have a crew of six people conduct the cleanup effort. On Wednesday morning, the crew will begin on the eastbound exit ramp on Tower Line Road from Highway 58.
Couch will assist with litter removal on Wednesday, according to his office.
“This program is a win-win for the community,” he said in a news release. “While we are beautifying our state roads, we are giving those that are homeless but can work a chance to get back on their feet and become contributing members of society again.”
The homeless participating in the cleanup effort are part of the Job Development Program. The goal of the program is to give homeless residents work experience so they can be independent and self-sufficient.
Participants have been involved in cleanup efforts within the city of Bakersfield but not the county.
According to Couch’s office, only the one crew of six is expected through the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. More people could be hired next year depending on funding.
The crew is being paid minimum wage for the litter removal, Couch’s office said.
During its Feb. 11 meeting, the Kern County Board of Supervisors approved two agreements, one with the California Department of Transportation and the Kern Council of Governments, to fund the new cleanup effort.
Caltrans is providing $25,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year and up to $125,000 in future years. Kern COG is providing $50,000 for program costs through June 30.