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Goodwill program reports on success after Louisville panhandlers find work

The program saw 25 participants in eight weeks, with two finding permanent work and housing
Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 7:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 7:40 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - To those who live on Louisville streets and survive off the kindness of strangers, a better life could be just one day of work away.

Wednesday, a Metro Council committee heard stories of success regarding “Another Way,” an initiative from Goodwill Industries of Kentucky designed to help Louisville’s homeless community and reduce panhandling.

“When they lose their way, showing that there’s another way they can go down brings hope back,” Goodwill Director of Community-Based Careers Services Kimberly Boyd-Lane said.

The program’s pilot run held two sessions a week across eight weeks, with $14,000 of funding from Goodwill and Metro Council. It offered participants five hours of work per day in exchange for lunch, a bus ticket and a $50 gift card.

“They would work at the fair grounds, they would tape up the basketball course, they would clean floors, set up chairs. The also worked LouVax at the fairgrounds. The did litter abatement too,” Goodwill Recovery Program Manager Sharon Allgeier explained.

The program saw 25 participants overall with two finding permanent work and housing according to a Metro Council presentation.

“They really get to know you then after a while we bring them back to Goodwill to talk about our services,” Allgeier said.

In Wednesday’s meeting, councilmembers raised concerns that the program’s participants mostly came from downtown and South Louisville. Boyd-Lane told WAVE 3 News the goal of the program would include an expansion across the city if it received additional funding; Goodwill is now seeking those funds from Metro Council.

“It laid the foundation for us to do some more exploration and identify where are gaps in the services we’re providing today as a city,” District 17 Metro Councilman Markus Winkler said.

To access Goodwill’s career resources, anyone can visit the Louisville resource center on 909 E. Broadway.

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