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Program set to offer temporary jobs for homeless Abilene residents

A program that directly helps people experiencing homelessness is set to launch in Abilene.

For those experiencing homelessness, every single day comes with many challenges.

Work Again West Texas is aiming to give those struggling with the burden of homelessness the chance to get back to work and eventually, back on their feet.

“It's a good program to kind of get them off the streets so they aren't having to panhandle at Buffalo Gap and Winters Freeway or downtown [Abilene],” said Work Again West Texas board member Blaise Regan.

Program supervisors will pick up five to six people every Tuesday and Thursday in vans from locations where homeless people tend to congregate, like the Salvation Army.

From there, the program supervisors will take the program's participants around Abilene to make a positive impact on the city while also earning some cash of their very own.

“It takes them to parts of the city like parks or streets that need cleaning,” said Regan. “Litter on the side of the street or parks that the city doesn't have the manpower to maintain.”

Participants in the program will work two to four hour shifts and be paid the hourly minimum wage and they will also be plugged into different charities around Abilene who will assist them with finding temporary housing, which will eventually lead them toward finding a stable living situation.

“After a month or two, we will push them a little harder and say, 'Hey, take a look at this charity’ and really try to transition them from our temporary Tuesday, Thursday [part-time jobs] to a permanent job or housing solution,” said Regan.

With the experience that they gain and the tools that they learn, these participants will have the chance to start over and get back to work again.

The program is set to launch in mid-September.

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