Downtown Vernon has some new ambassadors.
The Home Team has been unveiled by the Downtown Vernon Association and the 14 clients of the Kindale Development Association will sweep, weed, wash windows, pick up trash and pursue various other activities to beautify the central core.
“It’s the beginning of a new partnership which we’re all excited about,” said Cindy Masters, Kindale development officer.
“It’s a new adventure in working for them.”
The Home Team participants, who have developmental disabilities, receive government-funded employment benefits, but that can only consist of up to $375 a month for shelter and utilities and up to $531 a month for support.
That’s why the Home Team program downtown is so important.
“The individuals will receive real pay for real work,” said B. Elliott, Kindale’s executive director.
Under provincial rules, they can earn up to $800 per month and retain access to their benefits.
“Having a real job opportunity will mean the Home Team members can go out for a meal, attend Vernon Vipers hockey games, see a movie, whatever activities they enjoy,” said Masters.
The Home Team will work year-round and cover from 25th to 35th avenues and from 27th to 35th streets.
Landscaping and maintenance will be the key tasks, but they will also shovel snow in the winter.
“They will walk through the alleys and make notes about things that need to be addressed,” said Lara Konkin, DVA executive director.
The team will work Monday to Friday during the day, but will be available for Civic Sounds concerts and the Avenue Market.
“We are very excited about our partnership with Kindale and providing them with Home Team clothing,” said Konkin.