COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A new program allows the homeless who temporarily call the Springs Rescue Mission home to pick up city streets, and in turn get work experience.
On Tuesday morning, Laurie Phillips, a resident at the Mission and part of the new team, started cleaning up the Mill Neighborhood a few blocks north of the Mission.
"It's not something you expect to happen in your life, but when it does, you've just got to keep your spirit up," said Phillips.
The program gives participants incentives such as job preparation, priority seating at meals, lunches and extended access to resources, according to a statement from a Mission spokesperson.
Mission and City representatives launched the program in coordination with the HelpCOS campaign. The first branch of the project included signs that went up across Colorado Springs in May of 2018, reading, "Handouts Don't Help," followed by directions to send a donation.
The funds went to the Springs Rescue Mission and The Salvation Army, but now they will go to this new clean-up, and fund the Mission's work engagement program.
Travis Williams, Chief Development Director at the Mission says that he hopes this is, "helping folks who have been homeless start to feel dignity and hope again."
"The more we do, the better off we're going to be to work our way out of this situation," said Phillips.
Funds from the texting campaign launched in May haven't garnered more than a few thousand dollars, but the city says they hope this new direction will incline more people to donate.