Denver started a program in November 2016 that gives homeless people there the opportunity to take on manual labor jobs, such as

  • landscaping in parks
  • helping out at the Denver Elections Division, and
  • assisting public-works crews, as well as other assignments.

In the first year, 284 people participated in these jobs.  274 stuck with them, and 110 have landed permanent, full-time employment with either the City of Denver or an independent company.

This seems to tell us that 1) trying to help the homeless population rise above their situation is a worthwhile endeavor, and b) most homeless people want to get on their feet and help themselves, but they just need an open door to do so.