Jobs for people with disabilities

People with disabilities will have the chance to mop up some cash.

People with disabilities will have the chance to mop up some cash.

The Canadian Mental Health Association office in Red Deer has opened Vested Interest, an employment program that will hire part-time workers to clean exteriors and interiors for local businesses.

Tim Hafso, who has 20 years experience supporting individuals with disabilities, has been hired to co-ordinate the program offering training and jobs to individuals with a disability.

Individuals will be hired to work two to eight hours each week.

Association executive director Patricia Turnbull said the jobs are open to those with a mental illness, a brain injury or those who are recovering from an addition.

“It’s meant for people who have a very difficult time to go out on their own to find work,” Turnbull said.

The association has been developing the program for about a year to help support people who “truly want to participate in meaningful work and to be paid for it.”

“We want to do something that would improve the look of our community and to provide employment for our people.”

Vested Interest will contract with Red Deer businesses to do lane, sidewalk, alley and gutter cleaning.

It will also offer specialized “green” interior cleaning including kitchens, hallways, lobbies and more.

Turnbull hopes there will be demand for this type of work.

Vested Interest already has a couple of contracts.

“We’ll be approaching businesses in the downtown area,” Turnbull said.

Turnbull said the service will be affordable to businesses too.

Vested Interest will be housed at A Gathering Place, a peer support centre for individuals with mental illnesses and/or brain injuries, at 5021 Ross St. (the former Club Cafe).

Alberta Employment and Immigration is funding the co-ordinator position and administrative costs.

Businesses can call 403-304-7662 for information.