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Philly’s Mural Arts taps an underutilized workforce with ‘same-day pay’

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Cities around the country are experimenting with employing homeless people by offering jobs that provide a day’s pay for a day’s work. Philadelphia has developed its own version of the “same-day pay” model, with a pilot project run by the Mural Arts program.

Monday through Thursday, at 8:30 a.m., homeless or financially struggling people gather at the LOVE statue, in hopes of being one of 10 people who’ll be hired for the morning to work on a mural in Suburban Station. At noon, they get paid: $50. Cash.

Since the program started in late April, the crowd of hopeful workers has grown to about 40, and the program staff have instituted a lottery to fill the slots.

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