Sharing Lives: 2019 Holiday Edition

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Talkin’ Trash Program Honored with Innovation Award + Grant for a New Truck

Share’s Talkin’ Trash program has a fun name, a cute mascot and continues to be recognized by our community as both an innovative and successful initiative.

In September, we were honored to be recognized by the Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington for ‘Excellence in Innovation’ for our Talkin’ Trash program. Jillian Daleiden, Share Outreach Director, accepted the award and talked about the program which provides wages & benefits while participants—who are homeless or who have been homeless—work toward housing. Plus it cleans up our community: 146 tons of trash picked up in 2018!

For those unfamiliar with the program, its crew includes six community cleaners, on-call cleaners, and one supervisor, each of whom has formerly or is currently experiencing homelessness. The crew works 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday cleaning up litter and waste throughout the City. Community Cleaners also receive housing search assistance, general case management, and job and life skill training throughout their time in the program.

The Talkin’ Trash program gets an additional boost from volunteers who have come out for Neighborhood Clean-ups, the most recent on November 16. Along with dozens of community volunteers, we cleaned up areas in Harney Heights, Fourth Plain Village, and Rose Village neighborhoods. More neighborhood cleanups will be scheduled in 2020—follow us on for those dates.

And there’s more good news: The Firstenburg Foundation recently awarded Share a $55,000 grant to purchase a new truck for the Talkin’ Trash program.

“Our new truck will not only ensure the continued success of the Talkin’ Trash program, but will increase the program’s efficiency and expand it to serve other areas of Vancouver,” said Diane McWithey, executive director.

A 2019 2500 Tradesman Dodge Ram pickup with an eight-foot-long bed has been purchased. With this larger truck bed, the Talkin’s Trash crew members will be able to transport more trash in fewer trips, which will allow for additional time to operate in more areas each day and service locations that have been on a waitlist to participate in the program. The extended cab will also allow more crew members to travel together to sites.

The Talkin’ Trash program previously drove a used half-ton, short-bed pickup purchased from the City of Vancouver. Truck repairs of more than $6,000 had become too extensive and costly to continue the program’s operation without a new vehicle.

Additional articles in the 2019 Holiday edition include: Hungry Neighbors Need Your Help, Volunteer of the Year: Marc Veneroso, Rapid Rehousing Success for Local Family, Save the Date: Share’s Annual Gala on April 25, Save the Date: Harry Potter & the Cauldron of Soup on Oct. 11, and more

Download a PDF version of the Holiday 2019 Edition of ‘Sharing Lives’ to read all the stories from this quarter.

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