Hello! My name is Kevin Barber(age 17) and I need your help raising money to help give homeless people the opportunity to work. Wheels of Change is a job program I co-founded for the homeless in San Diego, February 2018, along with Alpha Project (a nonprofit) and Mayor Faulconer. Wheels of Change, just in its 2nd year of operation has been, by all measures, a resounding success!
At Wheels of Change, we take interested homeless individuals on vans to pick up trash in the community, paying them $13/hr. At the end of the work day, workers are driven back to the Bridge Shelter, where they may also be offered a bed and/or social services. Our goal is to get the homeless connected with social services, into housing, and offer them the dignity of working. It's empowering! In addition, our homeless workers also do community outreach while working, as they invite other homeless individuals to come in off the streets and work with our program.
This past year, Wheels of Change employed 375 workers, who cleaned up more than 20 tons of trash! And, unbelievably, 56 cites have visited our program, including LA, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, Vancouver, with the intent of starting programs similar to ours in their cities. Wheels of Change is a win-win for the homeless and our communities.
With 11,000 homeless people in San Diego, and long waitlists of individuals wanting to work, we have worked hard to expand this program. Just recently, in July 2019, with the generous support of the City and numerous donors, including the Lucky Duck Foundation, SDGE, the Davis Foundation, and Danna Foundation, we more than doubled the operation of our program. Now we can employ 100 homeless individuals per week. This will allow us to provide 5200 work opportunities this next year! We have been quite inspired by how much the homeless appreciate the chance to work.
Wheels of Change gives jobs to the homeless, helps get them services they need, and helps clean up our community. We all win! Our goal is to continue to expand to all districts of San Diego, and would love to get a 3rd van operating that could employ 10 more workers per day. Please consider making a tax deductible donation here. The money you give goes directly to Wheels of Change program at Alpha Project(a 501(c)(3)), who runs Wheels of Change. They have been working with our homeless in San Diego for 30 years. The money you donate, very simply, will put homeless people to work. Thank you for your support! It takes a village!
More information can be found on our website, http://www.wheelsofchangeprogram.com
TV MEDIA COVERAGE:
Wheels of Change-Fox 5 San Diego
California Live TV: Wheels of Change program
San Diego program employing homeless expands reach to help thousands
NBC 7: Politically Speaking: Teens Idea to Help The Homeless
KUSI: Homeless Work Program offers Tools For Empowerment
CBS Channel 8: New Program to Offer Part Time Jobs to Homeless
NATIONAL AND LOCAL NEWSPAPER COVERAGE:
CNN: 5 People who inspired us in 2018 and the impact they continue to have
CNN: The homeless in San Diego are getting jobs-thanks to a 16-year old boy
The Atlantic57: A TED talk inspires a 16 year old to start a nonprofit that puts homeless to work in San Diego
San Diego Union Tribune: TED talk, teenager led to homeless work program
San Diego Union Tribune: New program puts San Diego's homeless to work