King Co. program will hire people experiencing homelessness and poverty to clean up communities

KING COUNTY -- King County has announced a new program that will pay people experiencing homelessness and poverty to clean up garbage and graffiti in several unincorporated communities.

The pilot program, called King County Conservation Corps, will hire crews to clean public spaces in White Center, Skyway, Fairwood and East Federal Way. The program is a partnership with the Millionair Club Charity and United Way.

"It's an opportunity for us to provide a living wage and also a possibility of a career path," said Jim Miller, executive director of Millionair Club Charity. "We've got 1,100 individuals on our payroll. Seven hundred are self-classified as being homeless."

The contracted workers will be paid about $16 an hour, according to program officials.

The county says $125,000 is being provided for six months. It's a partnership between King County's Solid Waste Division, Department of Local Services and the temporary staffing agency Millionair Club Charity.

"We need to provide opportunities for people to build better lives, and tackle the litter and graffiti problem that continues to plague communities across the region," King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a  release.