City Gospel Mission's Job Van out to help homeless

Jobs Van takes aim at homelessness

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The city of Cincinnati is trying a new way to combat panhandling.

City leaders are backing a program called Job Van at City Gospel Mission.

Officials say they are using the vehicle to shed light on solving an age-old problem.

For those who rely on the generosity of others to make it through the day, City Gospel Mission's Job Van is a welcome sight.

It's a work program where someone can earn $45 cash for a five-hour shift.

The van has been in operation for six days. In that time it has had 57 riders, filled 159 bags of trash, and cleaned 31 miles of Cincinnati roadway.

Mayor John Cranley joined civic leaders this week to kick off the GeneroCITY 513 program at Fountain Square.

The van relies on donations. Residents may have seen yellow parking meters around town -- one on 12th Street north of Vine asks passersby to help fund the program.

GeneroCITY 513 does more than just give these folks who are down on their luck a little work for the day. The program also provides housing and long-term employment opportunities, mental health services and substance abuse counseling for those who may need it.

Cranley specifically asked people not to donate directly to panhandlers, saying you should direct your funds to the website Generocity513.org.

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