Homeless could soon help clean up trash on freeways


A vote Wednesday night could have Bakersfield homeless helping with the city's trash problem as soon as next week.

Trash has been an ongoing problem along local freeways and the Bakersfield City Council will vote on a plan to use crews from the Bakersfield Homeless Center to clean up the trash.

“It's exciting to know that we have a solution to deal with this trash problem that we have in our community,” said Russell Johnson, Council member Ward 7.

It's also exciting for residents and workers at the homeless center who could soon have full time jobs.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve had work living here and getting opportunities to do stuff like that is great. You can’t give up though,” said Bakersfield Homeless Center resident Duane Miller.

“It's a great feeling that I can provide for family we won't have to worry about what we're going to eat and where we're going to sleep,” said Greenwaste supervisor Phillip Montez.

The city will use a $250,000 grant from Cal Trans, money from the Kern Council of Governments to fund the program and private sponsorships to fund the program.

Six people from the homeless center will be hired to work five days a week at minimum wage, but City of Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall told 23 ABC the program could expand with more private sponsorships.

“I'm always excited to do things that make a positive impact on the less fortunate persons in our community and certainly this is one,” said Mayor Harvey Hall.

“If this is approved I’m definitely going to be out there. I’m definitely going to feel good about it and helping the city so that when people drive through the Bakersfield they see that it’s nice and clean,” said Greenwaste worker Seth Booher.

23 ABC will have the results of the vote on 23 ABC News at eleven.

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