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Queens BP enlists formerly homeless people to beautify Jamaica while learning job skills

The “Jamaica Together: A Neighborhood Cleaning Effort” pilot program will run through Oct. 30.

A cleanup effort along Guy R Brewer Boulevard

A cleanup effort along Guy R Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica resulted in several extra bags of trash waiting for pickup on Thursday, May 3, 2018. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

A new pilot program aimed at cleaning up Jamaica’s streets will also benefit formerly homeless people looking to build job skills.

Borough President Melinda Katz unveiled the “Jamaica Together: A Neighborhood Cleaning Effort” program on Tuesday, announcing a six-month partnership with the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) as well as other community stakeholders.

The initiative will lean on ACE-paid workers to clean up and beautify a section of Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, between Tuskegee Airmen Way and 109th Avenue, according to Kat’s office. ACE, a non-profit organization, works with recovering homeless people in the city by providing support services and helping them build key skills that will enable them to obtain and maintain a job.

“Jamaica is one of our borough’s core neighborhoods and it is critically important that we do all we can to make it a fantastic place to live, work and visit,” Katz said. “This program is just one part of our overall effort to revitalize Jamaica and maximize its potential as a residential and commercial hub.”

Each weekday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., a two-person crew will go out along Guy R. Brewer Boulevard to clean the sidewalks and tree pits and remove unauthorized graffiti. The workers will be overseen by a supervisor from ACE, per Katz’s office.

ACE executive director James Martin said it was an “honor and a privilege” to work in the Jamaica neighborhood.

“We look forward to helping make Guy R. Brewer Boulevard clean and beautiful for residents and visitors alike, while we continue to provide life-changing employment opportunities for New Yorkers in need,” Martin said.

The program began Tuesday and will last through Oct. 30.

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