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Bakersfield receives $500,000 boost from Caltrans for highway beautification

Will hire homeless people to pick up litter
Posted: 9:32 AM, Jan 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-22 19:44:58-05
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Bakersfield’s Mayor Karen Goh announced the city is receiving a $500,000 boost from Caltrans for state highway beautification today.

The funding is state money geared towards cleaning the side of our roads.

“Our residents now will be able to enjoy cleaner freeways,” Mayor Goh said during today's press conference, “I just strongly encouraged them to prioritize our community. Our community deserves to be a beautiful community and we want our freeways litter free.”

According to Mayor Goh, the funding will pay for a six-month program, in which the city is partnering with the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

Andrew Miles with the Bakersfield Homeless Center says they hired 15 new homeless people and added 9 current homeless employees to fill 24 new jobs for the project.

“I want them to use this as a springboard to be able to go out and get full-time employment; to go get a job with a 401k and benefits and vacation time,” Miles said.

Workers will focus on the side of Highway 58, 99 and 178, picking up trash, and removing overgrowth and brush. The workers say if you see them you can help them by driving safely.

“Slow down and keep a nice safe distance from the trucks that are on the side parked. And watch out for us out there working,” Alandro Ramierez, the crew supervisor for the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter, says.

Mayor Goh says this is an important project because "our roads are the first thing out-of-town visitors see when they drive into Bakersfield."