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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



By David Skolnick



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.


1Roger_Thornhill(951 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

"Maybe there’s jobs that could open in the city and they’d be hired if they do a good job.” McNally said.


What he means is "If they had political connections maybe they could get a city job."

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276Ytown(1318 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months 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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3Silence_Dogood(1527 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months 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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4pgurney(292 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

This is brilliant!

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5redvert(2185 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months 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(2306 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months 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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7mrgibson(201 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months 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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8happyj25(6 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months 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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9redeye1(5260 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Can't wait to hear when Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will be in town to protest this type of program . I also figure the NAACP will be marching down the streets screaming discrimination soon too.

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10mouse(112 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

up until the mid 60's you had to work for welfare.there was no such thing as a free lunch. they stopped it because they said it was humiliating for people to have to work for welfare. well, where did they think the money was coming from that provided the dollars welfare recipients received?
we collected welfare for a couple of months back then & my husband had to work for it & I seen no problem with it. the bible says if a man won't work he shall not eat....
i say man up guys or go hungry...........

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11Westsider(252 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

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

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12billdog1(3766 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months 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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13NilesOhio(883 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

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

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