Tulsa's 'A Better Way' Program Gives Homeless A Chance To Work
TULSA, Oklahoma - On this cold day who would want to work outside? A Tulsa group helping people find work found plenty of takers on Wednesday.
Tulsa hired a handful of people today to clean up B.C. Franklin Park. It's a new group every day all part of the "Better Way" program. Nine months after it started, 700 homeless people have worked for the City, for a day.
"It's a chance to come up a little bit, you know?" says Ronald Bodine, who says a combination of past addictions, a criminal record, and age forced him out of construction work. But he's not giving up. "You get back up every day and try and eventually you'll get it."
He was one of the people who waited hours to work outside, even on this cold, windy day.
Kellie Wilson works for the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, one of the groups that administers Better Way. She says homeless people are not lazy. It's usually a combination of problems that keep them out of work. "They have all these things, but if we can get them employment we can overcome those things and get them stabilized."
The program pays $65 cash for a day’s work. But the real payoff for the workers is help finding better work and help with all those barriers.
50 people have worked through A Better Way for one day and found full time work because of it.
"I've struggled because I've got stupid tattoos on my hands, and I've got a record and when you're homeless, they seem hard on you" says Jonathon Short, one of the workers who showed up Wednesday morning.
He hopes this day turns into something better for him. With a hot meal supplied - and cash at the end of the day, he's hoping it's another chance, maybe the chance he needs.