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Youngstown is finalizing a deal to have 10 people receiving government aid to handle city work



Published: Tue, April 8, 2014 @ 12:15 a.m.

10 who get government assistance to clean up downtown, fix potholes

photo

McNally

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The city is finalizing a deal with Mahoning County Job and Family Services to have 10 people who receive government financial assistance or food stamps clean up downtown, as well as help patch potholes and eventually mow grass throughout the city.

The program should start in two weeks with those selected by the city working full-time weekdays, and some will work weekends when there are major downtown events, said Mayor John A. McNally.

The JFS clients, who are part of the Work Experience Program, are not paid by the city, he said.

Instead, they are working to earn the food stamps or cash they receive, said Michael Mc-Elhaney, JFS program administrator.

They earn minimum-wage credit equal to what they receive, he said. There are about 375 people in the county’s Work Experience Program.

“This is how recipients can receive the benefits they’re getting at no additional cost to the city,” McNally said. “There’s a social benefit to this. They’re productive. Maybe there’s jobs that could open in the city and they’d be hired if they do a good job.”

The city’s street department union has no objection to the JFS clients’ doing this work, McNally said.

“This will let the street department handle larger issues and demolition,” he said.

With all the potholes caused by the winter weather, there will be a focus on patching them once the JFS clients are selected, McNally said.

“One of the areas we can significantly impact with this program is downtown cleanup,” said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s economic development director. “They will clean up downtown during the day — clean the sidewalks of garbage and empty trash cans.”

That is part of a broader downtown program to get business owners to not only clean in front of their business but those that are nearby, Woodberry said.

“We want to do all we can to keep downtown clean — and not only in the summertime, but year-round,” McNally said.

Also, giving clients who live in Youngstown the opportunity to work in the city is beneficial to all, McElhaney said.

“It’s easier to work in your hometown than to find transportation to work elsewhere,” he said.


Comments

176Ytown(1239 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Oh-Oh. Did they get the union's blessing before they promised these jobs to JFS? Remember what happened when they proposed the use of prisoners to repair pot holes!

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2Silence_Dogood(1341 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

This is wrong and downright cruel, it is not fair to ask someone to work for their keep. This is a rich Country, everything that comes from the Government should be free.The very reason they have ten childrens from six different ladies is for all that free monies. Now you gots to work,damn that's just wrong.

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3motherjones(34 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

I am all for people getting off the system...but how are they selecting these lucky ten? Now we are going to have to pay for the childcare while they are working for free. Maybe this will encourage them to get a paying job I guess. I still like the idea of prisoners doing the chain gang work around town instead of welfare recipients.

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4pgurney(281 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

This is brilliant!

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5redvert(2064 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

I love these comments, let us look at them one by one.

1) Yes, the unions must bless this or it may not happen. Perhaps some closed door negotiating went on.

2) I agree with Silence, daddy is already the bread winner, producing all those little welfare tickets.

3) Last, "Lucky Ten" I can hear it now, "Why does I have to work for my freebies, dem utter guys don't!"

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6walter_sobchak(1907 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Now that we all got that off our chest, my question is why must it only be limited to 10 individuals. I came down Market St. last Saturday morning and was disgusted going through the uptown area. But, once you get past Dewey, the CCA does the upkeep of the area and it is well maintained. Why can't we use more of these able-bodied recipients of government handouts, a.k.a. welfare, to do the simple tasks of beautification while city workers do the major renovations and repairs. Everytime I drive an Interstate and see ODOT workers picking up trash, I get angry. Especially as i drive by a guardrail terminal that has been destroyed and needs replaced.

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7westsiderscare(35 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Okay let me get this straight, maybe I'm missing something. City employees filled out a application to work in the city with job descpritions. Filling potholes and cutting down grass is one of those description when you got hired. That's what you get paid to do. When Youngstown has major events taking place, it should be up to the vendors and the Event to clean up after themselves. They are also getting paid, so do your job. Business owners...now that is just nonsense not to keep your business clean and appealing for customers. Last but not least, welfare recipients go look for a job...they are out there..put some effort into it and quit relying on others to help you...if you can work for a welfare check, you can work for a real check. Where is your sense of pride. I deal with enough strangers in and out of my area without having someone coming in cutting down grass and cleaning up someone else's messes. The property owners should be taking care of their own property or be fined. This is all about someone else cleaning up after the other guy.

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8mrgibson(74 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

I like the idea and think it needs to be expanded upon to include every abled bodied person.

As for child care those getting benefits can be used to fill those jobs too.
There's no shortage of work that needs to be done in our communities including our state parks.

Some of these people have never had a job and come from generational welfare families.
We can't keep paying capable abled bodied people not to work.
The system is bleeding the coffers dry and it's time to stop the slide into a lifetime of govt.dependence

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9happyj25(6 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

This program has been around a loooong time.30 years ago when I was a single mother whenever ever I had to receive financial assistance they always assigned me jobs to work for any foodstamps or money I received.It was like a part time job.

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10Westsider(222 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

I think everyone should have to work for the assistance they receive.

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11billdog1(1203 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Westsider, I agree. There are just to many things that need attention. If you can't get to a place because of transportation a city worker should ride around and make certain your street is clean. Get up go out and clean your street. Take some pride in where you live. Mow your elderly neighbors grass, take care of city parks, go down to the welfare office and sort paperwork, help the road crew, clean the PJ's streets and yards, and if nothing else, watch somebodies kids that has enough pride to go do just that. There are to many things that need done to allow these slugs to lay on the couch all day.

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12UticaShale(854 comments)posted 5 months, 1 week ago

Finally!

This Mayoral leadership is definitely on the right path now.

Poland Village Streetscapes built the Peterson Park with all the stonework using WEP workers eight years ago. The pavilion in the Poland forest were renovated with WEP workers about the same time. The outdoor movies in Poland is assisted during the summers with WEP workers.
When Mayor Williams admin. was offered WEP workers, the feedback was NO, because it was similar to enslavement.
How many times has it been shouted that the thousands receiving assistance if able bodied can be an Army of labor for the community.

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13NilesOhio(719 comments)posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Unfortunately, the unions will probably block this like they did with prisoners being used to fill potholes.

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