Work available for Tucson's homeless during gem show - Tucson News Now

Work available for Tucson's homeless during gem show

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Dozens of Tucson's homeless can earn some extra cash during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show thanks to a work program that focuses on getting them back into the workforce.

Non-profit foundation Primavera Works will hire up to 12 workers each day to help with trash pick-up and other custodial work starting Tuesday.

Primavera staffing manager Rick Sumner said the demand for work has been high, as expected. He said he will hire roughly 30 to 40 men and women during the show, many of them coming from local shelters.

A crew of four will begin trash pick-up along the I-10 corridor starting Tuesday morning. Eight others will provide trash pick-up services at the Tucson Convention Center when the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show kicks off.

Sumner said each worker will earn $8 an hour plus overtime if it is available. But earning some quick cash isn't the only thing Tucson's homeless are looking for.

"They feel very honored in order to be able to do this for the city and see it as an opportunity to let people know that 'yeah, I'm homeless,' but they do want to help the community," Sumner said.

The work program began last year when the City of Tucson reached out to Primavera for extra hands in keeping gem show vendor areas tidy. The city provides some funding for the program along with private donors, according to Sumner.

Primavera continues to accept funding from private donors to help boost present and future work programs. The non-profit also provides job training and day laborers for businesses looking to hire. More information can be found at

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