SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - One local community Thursday is celebrating success, when it comes to giving some of its homeless population a "hand up" in the way of a job.
Pacific Beach Business Owners joined together last year to help make Pacific Beach cleaner and safer for residents, visitors and business owners.
The PB Clean and Safe program provides traditional cleaning and security to enhance the City of San Diego existing services. Additionally, they provide added tools and services to affect positive change for the entire community and especially Pacific Beach's transient population.
Since launching in 2017, the unique program, which has employed 29 homeless individuals, has collected 256 tons of trash.
Pay starts at $11.50 an-hour with guardians working up the six times a week.
They have also picked up 12 tons of litter from Pacific Beach streets including Garnet from Mission to Ingraham and parts of Felspar and Grand.
Caryn Blanton, who oversees The Guardians, said the homeless problem in Pacific Beach has gotten worse, which is why programs like The Guardians are so crucial.
"We offer life skills, training to them. So not only are they working for a fair wage, they are also starting to be resourced with things that will help them move forward," said Blanton.
Also part of the Pacific Beach Safe and Clean Program will include private security guards patrol neighborhood businesses so visitors experience both a clean and safe environment.
Discover Pacific Beach and Councilmember Lorie Zapf were successful in identifying enough funds to establish a one year pilot program and now they are in the process of securing year two funding.
The program costs about $140,000 a year to turn and it will be paid for by local and businesses and other donors.
Zapf's office gave $25,000 to keep the program going - the hope is others will do the same.
Pacific Beach Safe is asking local businesses to donate to the program.