Letter writer: New Mexico program helps homeless with jobs

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The recent column by homeless person John Kloeckner [“Let’s Get Real: Homeless Need a Hand Up, Not Handouts,” Jan. 27, Xpress] is a good start for a discussion about homelessness.

There are better ways to handle this problem, and one is already being tried in Albuquerque, N.M., under the mayorship of Richard Berry, appropriately called the Better Way program. Twice a week, a city van patrols the streets to find homeless people, who are offered work for $9 per hour, lunch included, for the day. These people clean up graffiti and litter, clear weeds and generally perform city maintenance.

The program is highly regarded by all, including the homeless. More info can be found on YouTube at http://avl.mx/277.

— Glen Reese


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

8 thoughts on “Letter writer: New Mexico program helps homeless with jobs

  1. Lulz

    LOL, so instead of the homeless panhandling for money, they get paid lulz. And their money is spent on ??? So government now is just a stand in LOL. The problem is still there and no long term solution is found.

    Again, if one is homeless and avoiding shelters or unable to be admitted, then the issue isn’t a paycheck but usually substance abuse. If a homeless person finally tires of their situation, there are places that will help them. But this is important, they have to be willing to take the first step lulz.

    • bsummers

      You do know it’s impossible to take anything you say seriously even when you’re trying to be serious, right?

      ““Lulz” is how trolls keep score. A corruption of “LOL” or “laugh out loud,” “lulz” means the joy of disrupting another’s emotional equilibrium.”

      • Lulz

        LOL, am I to take you serious for your response or am I to laugh at the joke of this nation where people are naive and increasingly out of touch with reality lulz? Hey Summers, we just gave a boatload of money to Iran to “play” nice LOL. They of course are ignoring any so called accords and agreement and even testing long range missiles lulz. The same damn thing applies to homeless, single moms, welfare luvas, the lazy, the ignorant, and anyone who is dumb enough to think that giving money away to these groups is going to change things lulz. It’s in fact the definition of insanity which IMO many on the left suffer. Stats show that for all the money tossed at it, and we’re talking trillions, it’s gotten worse. Keep this in mind as well that all the while regulations are at an all time high, private property rights are at an all time low, the government figures on unemployment is a lie, the nation is in 20 trillion in debt and a guy who didn’t earn his first paycheck until 40 is considered Presidential material LOL. And wants to add another 20 trillion in debt to it lulz.

    • Peter Robbins

      Your opposition surprises, lol. What Albuquerque is trying to do is to find a work-oriented alternative to ineffective government regulation of panhandling. The litter cleanup is not a stand-alone program designed merely to subsidize an itinerant lifestyle, but is integrated with other outreach efforts (including mental-health and drug-treatment services) to further a comprehensive solution that gets the homeless into permanent homes, into full-time jobs, and out of poverty. See http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-albuquerque-gives-panhandlers-jobs-not-tickets.html. Public investment in human resources is not necessarily cost-inefficient. But you get the return you pay for.

      • Lulz

        LOL, you know what? If it improves their situation then sure. But if it turns out to be another government ran program that benefits those in control of the funds, then it’s nothing but another scam. The money doesn’t do any good because those in charge of it use it for their own gain. And the corrupt scam that government is ensures that the spigot never gets turned off because these agencies within it always come back claiming that they need even more money LOL.

        The homeless will only improve their situation without government. Same goes for anyone on assistance.

        • Yep

          yep, but that’s how lieberal progressive democrackkks roll…they MUST keep the underprivileged poor so they
          can maintain their criminal operations.

        • Hauntedheadnc

          “The homeless will only improve their situation without government. Same goes for anyone on assistance.”

          You know, that’s just wild because here I thought all this time that before all those assistance programs were established, people just tended to starve to death, turn to crime a prostitution, and that children especially were prone to joining street gangs and selling their bodies. Who knew that the Gilded Age and all the time before was actually a time when nobody suffered, lived in misery, died young and in squalor, and was the era when everyone pulled their own weight. Why, it makes you wonder why all those social programs got off the ground in the first place, doesn’t it?

  2. Yep

    We already have taxpayer PAID housing staff who cannot even keep public housing cleaned up! And NO one in this so called
    ‘green utopia’ will ever do a damn thing about…HACA and City Council / City mgmt all totally DISRESPECTFUL to Asheville about all their damn trash and litter!

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.