Amsterdam Pays Drunks with Beer to Clean Streets

To keep them occupied


Amsterdam is paying alcoholics to clean the streets, but there is a twist. The payment? Beer.

Some alcoholics were causing a nuisance in one of Amsterdam's parks. Now, through a special program, the men are being kept busy cleaning streets. For a day's work, they receive 10 euros (around $13 U.S.), a half-packet of rolling tobacco and five cans of beer — two to start the day, two at lunch and one for after work.

Gerrie Holterman, who heads the Rainbow Foundation project, which is funded by the Dutch state and donations, says the aim of the project is to keep the men occupied and away from disruptive fighting and noise-making in the park.