‘Work for Beer’ Program Going Strong in Amsterdam
If you want to get paid in a six pack periodically throughout the day, go pick up trash in Amsterdam.
I think the people of Amsterdam have maybe figured out how to fix the homeless problem. If you are a part of the Rainbow Foundation program, you are paid to pick up trash throughout the city. The payment is not in cash, it is in cans of beer. One of the people in the program is Fred Schiphorst, he has been out of work for over a decade with a back injury and he calls himself an alcoholic.
His workday begins at 9 a.m. with two cans of beer, a down payment on a salary paid mostly in alcohol. He gets two more cans at lunch and then another can or, if all goes smoothly, two to round off a productive day.
“I’m not proud of being an alcoholic, but I am proud to have a job again,” said Mr. Schiphorst, the grateful beneficiary of an unusual government-funded program to lure alcoholics off the streets by paying them in beer to pick up trash.
In addition to beer — the brand varies depending on which brewery offers the best price — each member of the cleaning team gets half a packet of rolling tobacco, free lunch and 10 euros a day, or about $13.55.
I don’t see this program coming over to America anytime soon. I just don’t see our country condoning a six pack as payment.