The key to getting homeless people off of the streets is the dignity of employment.

That’s the philosophy behind Ready, Willing & Able (RWA), a program run by the nonprofit Doe Fund in New York City, Jersey City, N.J., and Philadelphia, which starts with the proposition that work is rehabilitative. The work, in this case, is mainly street cleaning: Each day, more than 150 participants in New York alone fan out across the city’s streets in bright blue uniforms with brooms and garbage pails,...

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