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Overseas Program Pays Alcoholics With Beer Instead of Money? (Yes, It’s True)

beer bottlesYes, you read that right. Here’s how it works in the city of Amsterdam — alcoholics get paid in beer instead of money for picking up trash.

According to The New York Times, a unique government-funded program launched by the Rainbow Foundation, was intended to get alcoholics off the streets and working by picking up trash. In lieu of money, they get paid in their own currency: Beer.

But that’s not all. In addition to beer, cleaning team members earn half a packet of rolling tobacco along with free lunch and oh yeah, 10 euros each day. This particular Rainbow Foundation initiative is apparently pretty popular to the point there’s a waiting list for alcoholics to come on board.

Fatima Elatik, district mayor of eastern Amsterdam, told the newspaper although she’s not a fan of alcohol, it’s better to give alcoholics something to do to keep them busy and then restrict their drinking to beer that’s in limited supply.

With three districts in full effect with the program and a fourth one considering implementing it, it’s hard to say the government is supplying the beer. That’s because it’s not. The Rainbow Foundation, per the piece, says they pay for the beer from its own funds.

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