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New initiative offers jobs for homeless at The Bridges shelter

'It was extremely important for us that this wasn't a hand-out, but a hand-up.' said Lynn Perry with Cambridge Shelter Corporation
The Bridges
Photo from cambridgesheltercorp.ca

The Bridges Shelter and the Cambridge Mill are joining forces for the new Real Jobs for Real People program.

The new initiative is giving people who are homeless a chance to work on an organic farm owned by the Cambridge Mill, which is a restaurant and event venue.

Cambridge Shelter Corporation Executive Director, Lynn Perry, says participation is not compulsory for residents of The Bridges shelter.

"They are real jobs for real people. It was extremely important for us that this wasn't a hand-out, but a hand-up... Isn't it amazing what a grown adult will do when we give them the space to make good choices." she told The Jennifer Campbell Show on 570 NEWS.

People using the services at The Bridges shelter will be paid competitive wages on the Cambridge Mill's farms.

Perry says she is excited about the new opportunity, adding that the solution was never to blame and shame homeless people.

"They can work through the challenges of mental health while adapting and adopting and growing within an employment opportunity -- something they haven't had access to maybe ever, has been the most rewarding part of the pilot."

Those who choose to opt into the program and accept the job offer will have work until the end of October, which marks the end of the agricultural season.

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