Alcoholics Paid in Beer to Clean City Streets

In Amsterdam—where did you expect?

By Newsy, a Newser Video Partner

Posted Nov 20, 2013 12:13 PM CST
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(Newser) – An unconventional method for cleaning up the streets of Amsterdam has some scratching their heads. A local foundation is paying citizens to clean up the streets—paying them in beer and sometimes cigarettes, that is. Apparently, the alcoholics in a local park were causing disturbances by fighting, being loud, and yelling at women, so the group behind the offbeat program, the Rainbow Foundation, decided to put them to work. The group of addicts starts work at 9am with two beers; they get a lunch break that comes with a hot meal and two more beers, and then work until the day ends at 3:30 with one last beer and 10 euros (about $13.50). The beers and money are courtesy of government funding. The Foundation contends that this program is great for the city and the alcoholics, saying it gives structure to their lives and keeps them busy—which in turn means they drink less. Newsy reports:

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