Amsterdam streets cleaned by alcoholics

19th of December 2013
Amsterdam streets cleaned by alcoholics

A new project in Amsterdam aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour sees alcoholics being hired to clean the city's streets. Their salary - five cans of beer, tobacco and just under 10 euros a day.

The new recruits start work at 9am and finish around 3pm - they are split into two teams of around 10 and work three days a week. The project is run by the Rainbow Foundation, headed by Gerrie Holterman.

She explained: ??"This group of chronic alcoholics was causing a nuisance in Amsterdam's Oosterpark: fights, noise, disagreeable comments to women.

"The aim is to keep them occupied, to get them doing something so they no longer cause trouble at the park."Holterman believes everyone benefits from the project, which is financed by the government and donations - streets are clean, alcoholics are busy and happy.

Addicts say they would not participate if they were not given beer. "We need alcohol to function, that's the disadvantage of chronic alcoholism," 45-year-old Frank said.

The workers are all taking part in the project voluntarily and say they are happy to be there because it gives their lives "some structure".



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