Bakersfield's solid waste division teams up with homeless shelter to provide part time jobs

Bakersfield partners with homeless shelter

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - For Phillip Montez, finding a job last year was rough.

"When I was job hunting, I was trying to work everywhere," said Montez.

And finding a job while living at the homeless shelter was impossible.

"Jobs were slim to none and because of me not having a license or vehicle, it was even harder," said Montez.

Then he heard of Bakersfield city's partnership with the homeless center to give shelter residents part time jobs separating trash from green waste at the compost plant.

"A lot of people all they need is that opportunity," said Bakersfield Homess Center job development program supervisor Debra Tyner.

When Montez got the job at the green waste compost plant, one man's trash became another man's treasure.

"It helped me and my family move from the homeless shelter to a duplex," said Montez.

"It's great to see people who needed a break get a break and you can start to see how it changes their lives. At the same time the city is getting a great value for the sorting operation. So it's really a win-win for everybody and we're excited to be a part of that," said Bakersfield Solid Waste Division supervisor Sal Moretti.

Shelter residents are paid minimum wage and use the experience to establish job training or re-establish work history.

"And then they move from here onto full time positions where they can be more independent and self supporting with their families," said Tyner.

So far, more than 30 Bakersfield Homeless Center residents have gotten jobs through the program.

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