Ever Wonder Why Downtown Lethbridge is So Clean? Meet our Clean Sweep Program

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Have you ever wondered how the streets of downtown Lethbridge get to be so clean and well maintained? Well, all the work comes from a small program that underwent several changes throughout the years and became what is currently known as the Clean Sweep Program (CSP). This program is dedicated to helping individuals who are in need of work while giving the downtown core a respectful appeal by cleaning up garbage, sweeping the dirt off the sidewalk, shoveling snow in winter, and maintenance.

 

Prior to what the CSP is today, the program began from a homeless initiative from Housing First. Housing First, the homeless shelter, the City of Lethbridge, Social Housing in Action Committee all teamed up to help homeless individuals regain stability through employment with the Employment Rejuvenation Program (ERP). After several years of finding employment opportunities for homeless citizens of the city, a transition through the program was introduced and developed further by the Heart of Our City committee, Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone, and the Social Housing in Action. The Clean Sweep Program, a joint initiative with all of the aforementioned groups, came together to help individuals back into the working force.

 

Jeff Wall, program coordinator for CSP, says that the goal is to provide the jobs for people who need to get back on their feet.

 

“It really depends on what type of work they’re looking for where we send them and what we get them involved with,” explains Wall.

 

Whether it’s watering flowers in spring or shovelling snow in winter, it’s those three hours in the morning that steers individuals back on track with routine schedules and to help with finding worth. Working closely with Lethbridge locals in need of work, Wall enjoys seeing the positive changes in his employees. Wall explains how one individual entered the CSP after a strained divorce settlement and found him with nothing. However, after consistent work, he was able to dust himself off and get back to work with Wall.

 

Working within the CSP, the workers are given tokens of gratitude from businesses that are thankful. Round Street Cafe gives out warm cups of coffee during the winter; Mental Health Services give warm clothing during the winter, and free lunches throughout the year. Seeing businesses donate what they can, Wall witnesses the strong relationship that are built with his employees and business owners who give back.

 

Looking to develop a new stage for CSP, Wall hopes to increase hours from 10 hours every two weeks to 40 hours a week. Wall hopes to have workers regain that full time experience and help individuals make a smooth transition back into society.

 

Throughout the whole year, these workers wake up at dawn to provide a city service with employment opportunity. The Clean Sweep Program operating hours are from 5 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be reached at (403) 394-5603.

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Posted on:
Monday, June 01, 2015