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New program will hire people in poverty to clean up Seattle area

The King County Conservation Corps will have crews pick up garbage and clean up graffiti in urban unincorporated areas of King County.

King County leaders plan to hire people in poverty and those experiencing homelessness to help clean up unincorporated areas as part of a six-month pilot program. 

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the pilot project Tuesday and said it's a partnership between King County's Solid Waste Division, Department of Local Services, and the Millionair Club Charity, which helps connect people experiencing homelessness to jobs and services. 

The project will be called The King County Conservation Corps. Under the agreement, five-person crews will provide services on weekdays to urban unincorporated areas like White Center, Skyway, Fairwood, and East Federal Way. 

“We need to provide opportunities for people to build better lives and tackle the litter and graffiti problem that continues to plague communities across the region," said Constantine. "We want people who have been struggling to have steady employment and the satisfaction of a job well done, and to improve neighborhood quality of life for everyone."

The contracted workers will earn between $18-$20/hour. 

The Department of Local Services will serve as the lead of operations and management for the project. The Solid Waste Division will act as the primary resourcing agency, providing $125,000 for six months

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