Philly officials announce expansion of same-day pay program for the chronically unemployed

By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia is expanding a program that provides work and payment on the same day for people who have been chronically unemployed. The program will move into more neighborhoods outside of Center City.

Council President Darrell Clarke stood in front of a mess of old window panes, tarps, lumber and other construction debris in Strawberry Mansion and said he’d chosen the spot for a reason.

“It is clear that across the city of Philadelphia, we need a lot of things to be done,” he said.

Same-day pay will procure the labor to get it done, while giving the workers a very low barrier job with immediate rewards.

Sanctioned same-day pay programs started a little over a year ago with Mural Arts hiring 10 people a day to beautify Suburban Station. People would line up for the jobs in Love Park, and it got so popular they used a lottery to hire.

The city funded 10 more people for its neighborhood improvement program, CLIP, that would hire from the same line.

The expansion offers 40 new slots, essentially tripling work opportunities, and it will hire through community groups.

Darnell Scott of One Day At A Time said it could even become a powerful anti-violence tool.

“Cause it’s the one question everybody asks when they put the drugs and the guns down, how am I going to support myself and my family. But now I got something to give to them to get the gun out of their hand. I’m trading something,” Scott said.

Workers will get $15 an hour for five to six hours work, four days a week, cleaning and greening lots with the Horticultural Society.

And they’ll get services to help them leverage the experience for full time jobs.

Clarke expects the half-million dollar program to begin later this year.