A dozen or so homeless or formerly homeless welfare recipients will be trained to work in the construction industry and then ply their new trade on vacant city-owned properties.
The goal is to renovate abandoned houses and other buildings, and then use the fixed up properties as housing for homeless people. In the meantime, the workers learn skills that will help them land jobs and take them off the welfare rolls.
Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials are holding a ribbon cutting ceremony in Southeast D.C. later today to officially launch the effort.
The "Sweat Equity" pilot program is part of a larger effort by the Gray administration to reform welfare in D.C. by moving away from public assistance and toward self-sufficiency.