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This Shelter Gives Homeless People What They Really Need—Long-Term Jobs

By Sydney Worth ~ yes!

A Fort Worth, Texas, program sees steady employment as an important step in helping guests rebuild their lives.

When Kristy Yates’ daughter passed away in 2010, Yates sank into a deep depression and alcoholism that led to a drunken driving arrest. After a slew of health issues and losing all three of her jobs, the Fort Worth, Texas, resident became homeless and ended up checking in at the Presbyterian Night Shelter.

Yates’ new address made it hard to get hired. But after two months of living in the shelter, she learned about Clean Slate, and her life has changed since.

Toby Owen, CEO of the shelter, had long hoped to establish a social enterprise that would address homelessness in Fort Worth. When the city gave the shelter a $50,000 grant, Clean Slate was born.

Launched in fall 2015, Clean Slate hires guests living in the night shelter as janitors and street sweepers.

The project offers Fort Worth’s homeless population an opportunity to obtain financial security and ultimately find a permanent home. While not a foolproof answer to homelessness, Owen believes it’s a step in the right direction.

“There’s not one silver bullet that’s going to end homelessness,” Owen said.

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