King County pilot program aims to create jobs, clean up streets

VIDEO: King County pilot program aims to create jobs, clean up streets

A new initiative aims to clean up King County streets, while giving people experiencing homelessness and poverty a well-paying job.

“Anyone who’s been around our communities knows there’s too much litter, there’s too much graffiti, and nobody wants that,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Constantine announced the launch of the King County Conservation Corps Tuesday. It’s a partnership between the county and the Millionair Club Charity.

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“I want our communities to be clean and something we can be proud of,” he said.

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The initiative is employing people like Donald Tarkington.

“It was a struggle for a little bit because living in Seattle it’s not easy, it’s not easy, so this Millionair Club has just been a God send,” said Tarkington.

Workers earn $18 to $20 bucks an hour, and they’re making a visible difference.

“You could see from the first day even to yesterday, you could see the complete difference. I’ve been told from people here it’s night and day,” said Tarkington.

“People come out from time to time and they’ll say, hey, thank you for the work that you’re doing, especially here on 16th, we’re working right in front of the businesses,” said Isaac Anderson, employee.

The program started in White Center. There’s plans to move to also clean up Skyway, Fairwood, and East Federal Way.

The pilot program runs for six months and will cost King County $125,000.