The New York Times has a story today about a controversial program in Amsterdam that enlists homeless individuals to clean the streets, and pays them in beer:
“I’m not proud of being an alcoholic, but I am proud to have a job again,” said Mr. Schiphorst, the grateful beneficiary of an unusual government-funded program to lure alcoholics off the streets by paying them in beer to pick up trash.
In addition to beer — the brand varies depending on which brewery offers the best price — each member of the cleaning team gets half a packet of rolling tobacco, free lunch and 10 euros a day, or about $13.55.
The program, started last year by the Rainbow Foundation, a private but mostly government-funded organization that helps the homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics get back on their feet, is so popular that there is a long waiting list of chronic alcoholics eager to join the beer-fueled cleaning teams.
Read full story here.