The Program

CSCS Goals


CLEAN STREETS CLEAN STARTS is designed to accomplish two main objectives:

  1. Provide a community with a safe and inviting place to shop, work and live.
  2. Offer the homeless population a Work Program that sets them on a path to full-time work and housing after completion.

The CSCS Homeless to Work Program is a six-week “cycle” of maintenance and beautification work on approximately a one-mile stretch of a neighborhood's commercial district (i.e., Reseda Blvd., Sherman Way, Devonshire Street, and Ventura Blvd.) that the community feels needs some spit and polish. We recommend any designated Great Street from the Mayor's Great Streets Program.

Participants are all volunteers, not employees. Ten to fifteen homeless volunteers in a “cycle” must commit to sobriety while working two days a week, three hours a day under the guidance and direction of a CSCS team leader.

Each participant receives a daily stipend, two bus tokens to get them to and from work, plus, one $25.00 gift card of their choice for Von's, 99¢ Store, or gasoline.

The daily stipends and breakfasts total approximately $34.00 per day. A six- week “cycle” at two days per week with an average of ten participants costs about $5,000. Additional funding may be required for Art and/or gardening projects.

Work Period


The Work Period lines up something like this:

  1. Breakfast at Joyce's Cafe on Reseda Blvd. - the earlier the better.  We eat between 6 and 7am. Selections from a limited menu cost approximately $5.00 per person.
  2. Work starts on time at 7am. We gather the team together and go over working orders and tools. Then we go to work. Starting with trash patrols the first week to familiarize ourselves with the street and identify our comprehensive work direction.
  3. After about two and a half hours of directed work, we gather up the tools and spend a few minutes discussing the completed job and street observations.
  4. Then, we move to what we call Navigation. This can happen on-site or at an office. Navigation encompasses analyzing each person's background and needs. It may include another light meal and the opportunity for a shower.


  • trash pick-up
  • remove posters and signs from power and light poles
  • clean sidewalks, gutters and planters
  • scrape gum off sidewalks
  • pull weeds
  • trim trees
  • replant trees and flowers (where possible)
  • repaint fire hydrants and red curbs where needed
  • wash down and scrub sidewalks where needed
  • paint over graffiti

The list of jobs escalates in difficulty as time goes by, and is designed to build teamwork and develop individual skills and self-esteem.

Outreach & Navigation


Outreach is very demanding. We design the Program to meet the needs of the community we are in.

We are often asked, “Where do you find the homeless volunteers?"

We go out and find them. This entails locating and visiting encampments. We walk up to them and offer a hand-up. We ask if they are ready for a change and patiently explain the Program. 

Laura will visit the different camps many times to offer food and assistance. She tries to gain their trust and invites them into a “cycle” coming up in their area. This is a critical component of CSCS.

The Navigation takes effect at the end of the work periods and continues after the “cycle” is finished. We follow the progress of those who enter CSCS as long as possible. We ask that they do not give up on themselves.... so we do not give up on them!