Syracuse and Onondaga County are collaborating on a program that will help reduce panhandling and help establish an income stream for some of the city's homeless population.The new program will be coordinated by John and Leigh-Ann Tumino founders of In My Father's Kitchen (IMFK), a local non-profit focusing on helping the homeless. Again, from February's post:
In a few short months, we've moved away from plans to address 'aggressive' panhandlers via a local law, and instead will be looking to give people a leg up towards improving their situation.
The program will have a van with a driver and a caseworker to assist the laborers, who will work Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays along side the driver and caseworker - so it's not just a pick-up drop-off program. For each workday, the people will receive a $50 stipend.So what's new? Well, the Hire Ground program has some new partners - we learned today that some of merchants as Destiny USA will be helping support the program.
The Eddie Bauer and Carhartt stores are going to provide clothing and shoes for the workers, and Panera has offered to provide one meal a month for a year for participants.
IMFK's Tumino hopes this will be a "catalyst" and inspire other businesses to provide support to the program as well. Maybe someday the program, which got some initial support from the owners of Ziebart and Driver's Village, could become self-sufficient and not need to rely on taxpayer dollars.
The program is slated to get under way on May 1st.