Amsterdam came up with a completely logical way of cleaing up its streets. As part of an effort to literally clean them and keep a group of troublesom alcoholics on the straight and narrow, the Rainbow Foundation project offers the men 10 euros, a half-packet of rolling tobacco and give cans of beer (rationed out during the course of the day) in exchange for a day of street cleaning.
"This group of chronic alcoholics was causing a nuisance in Amsterdam's Oosterpark: fights, noise, disagreeable comments to women," says project leader Gerrie Holterman. The idea behind the Rainbow Foundation is that idle hands are the devil's tool. "The aim is to keep them occupied, to get them doing something so they no longer cause trouble at the park," Holterman added.
The group is divided into two sets of about 10 people who each work three days a week. The work day begins at 9 a.m. when workers consume their two morning beers and Holterman carefully monitors their drinking, but expects them to act on the honor system and curb their own drinking if she's summoned elsewhere.
A participant who chose to remain anonymous said: "It gives our lives some structure." Vincent, a former baker, said that "contributing to society despite the fact that [he] drink[s]" did wonders for his self-esteem.
Another group member named Frank wasn't as quick to romanticize the project. "Of course we drink in a more structured way, but I don't think that we drink less," he said, adding that when they leave work, they "go to the supermarket and transform the 10 euros [they] earned into beers."
At least they aren't causing trouble anymore.
[via Times LIVE]