A CLEANER WASHINGTON ST. WITH PROJECT PLACE
Washington Gateway Main Street is working in partnership with Project Place on the Clean Streets Initiative (CSI), providing services above and beyond the City’s services to ensure Washington St. is a clean place to live, work and play. Project Place crews clean the sidewalks on both sides of Washington St. on Wednesdays and Fridays for 9 hours each day.
Clean Corners is an economic development initiative created in response to the immense challenges involved with assisting people who are homeless achieve self-sufficiency. In addition to job training, Clean Corners employees have access to support services that help them maintain a professional work schedule. They receive intense training and are a highly visible, positive presence in the neighborhoods they serve. They are paid hourly, and graduate from Clean Corners with skills that transfer directly to a variety of industries, including custodial services, facilities maintenance, waste management, and landscaping.
"Clean Corners is a great option for urban communities that want to keep their neighborhoods and business districts clean," said Suzanne Kenney, Executive Director of Project Place. "But much more impressive is Clean Corners' record of helping clients become self-sufficient by teaching them skills through on-the-job training that they can use to obtain mainstream employment."
The South End is bustling, but with all the increased development and activity in the neighborhood, these services are needed now more than ever. In 2016, WGMS and its all volunteer board and full-time staff member, raised nearly $40,000 to support this program as a pilot.
WGMS Board President, Kristin Phelan added, "Washington Gateway is using funds raised from a successful NeckTies [annual fundraiser] to engage a valuable local nonprofit to benefit the entire community with cleaner sidewalks to stroll along. Working with Project Place and the City of Boston allows our small organization to have a big impact."
This endeavor is a fuller effort that started in the winter of 2016 when record snowfall blocked entrances to businesses. WGMS hired Project Place to shovel business entryways and further clear crosswalks.
Clean Corners...Bright Hopes crews pick up about 290 pounds of trash each week. In 2016, WGMS and its all volunteer board and full-time staff member, raised over $45, 000 to support this program as a pilot. The current partnership is slated for 12 months and WGMS is hoping to extend it for years to come.