Merced Rescue Mission takes on city landscaping, litter removal duties

Men using the services of the Merced Rescue Mission will begin helping the city maintain downtown streets, parks and the bus station, according to an agreement between the mission and the city's department of public works.

Mission CEO Herb Opalek said in a press release that men enrolled in the New Life Transformation program will work on city projects for two hours each weekday. The work includes landscape maintenance, litter removal and general clean-up duties. Each volunteer will be trained in use of equipment and receive basic protective work wear.

The mission will receive no money for the services.

"It is a rare opportunity for our people to absorb new training, contribute to their work therapy program, and have more marketable job skills upon their graduation from the Mission," Opalek said in the press release.

Workers in the program will wear red T-shirts displaying the mission's logo.