Program in Amsterdam pays alcoholics in beer

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Program In Amsterdam Pays Alcoholics In Beer

A controversial program in Amsterdam is paying alcoholics partly in beer to clean litter off the streets.

NBC reports the initiative has some government funding and gives the alcoholics five cans of beer a day, rolling tobacco, a hot lunch and the equivalent of about $13 in euros.

One of the project's leaders told NBC the program gives the alcoholics, who normally sit on the street, something to do.

She also told the BBC: "It's quite difficult to get these people off the alcohol completely. We have tried everything else. We might not make them better, but we are giving them a better quality of life."

In January, The New York Times reported other cities in the Netherlands were looking into adopting the program as well.

The paper also points out some conservative lawmakers in Amsterdam have called the program a waste of government money, saying the program shows tolerance for alcohol abuse.

But the project leader with the program says the alcoholics don't get enough beer to make them drunk. She also says she hopes the program helps them make positive changes in their lives.

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