Portland nonprofit hires homeless population to clean public beach

KGO logo
Thursday, June 27, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A public beach in Oregon is free of litter thanks to a local nonprofit that pays the local homeless population to pick up trash on the beach.

The organization, Ground Score, pays Scott Adkins $15 an hour to clean Audrey McCall Beach for one hour each day. Ground Score works with dumpster divers, bottle collectors and others who turn to recycling to make ends meet.

Ground Score wrote on Facebook that it was looking for employees and hired Adkins after finding him already cleaning the beach on his own.

Adkins told local television station KOIN that he's been houseless for two years but has found a sense of purpose through his work cleaning the beach.

He's found shoes, clothing, jewelry, broken glass, cigarette butts and drug paraphernalia so far.

"If this stops somebody from coming down here, it would break my heart," Adkins said as he picked up a syringe.

"The fact is I don't leave anything," he added. "I pick up everything, everywhere I go. It's just something that I do. I don't like our city trashy. I'm a member of the city and the community and my name is Scott. I'm going to be here and I'm grateful."