Former Homeless Man Pays First Month’s Rent with Money Earned in Work Program

A formerly homeless man in Little Rock, Arkansas, now has a place to call his own, thanks to a work program that began in April.
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A formerly homeless man in Little Rock, Arkansas, now has a place to call his own, thanks to a work program that began in April.

Friday, Canvas Community, a church whose mission is to “love Little Rock back to life,” shared a photo of Roy to its Facebook page just before he paid his first month’s rent with money he made working for the church’s Bridge to Work program.

The post read:

This step today launches the rest of his lifeplan. Now that he’s inside, he can stay clean and feel confident to finish barber school (his passion). Until he finishes school, he can work with Bridge to Work once a month to earn most of his rent. Once he finishes and is working, his rent will be based on his income.

“Keep Roy in prayer as he moves forward toward his best life!” the post concluded. 

The initiative, which began in April and pays homeless people $9.25 an hour to pick up trash, was only supposed to last for six months. At the start, the city approved $80,000 to help with funding, according to THV 11. 

Now, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has extended the successful program through the end of September 2020.

In October, Roneisha Foxworth said the money she made from Bridge to Work has “helped a lot,” adding that “It helped me grow and be more responsible.”

The program also helps individuals get access to addiction treatment, mental health services, and legal advice, according to WBUR.

“The goal is to give them a day’s work and a day’s pay, but also the opportunity to connect to services to get full employment or whatever the next step is,” said Paul Atkins, a pastor at Canvas Community.

So far, about 2,000 bags of trash have been picked up from all over the city.

This week, the mayor praised the Bridge to Work directors for their leadership regarding the program.

“Kudos to you all for what you all have been doing,” he said, adding “This is truly servant’s work.”

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