NEW TRANSITIONS PROGRAM OFFERS SHOPPING CART CLEAN-UP
New Directions employs people who are homeless to do work around the city, most recently returning shopping carts.
"We go around to the businesses and we say, ‘look we find shopping carts in areas you wouldn't normally see like the marshes and public parks and we'll bring them back to you before they're destroyed,’" Shelter said.
New Directions Owner John Shelter charges five dollars a cart, but will waive that fee, if the business hires his company to do landscaping.
“We made them a great offer," Shelter said. "If you hire us and give us learning opportunities for the individuals who are trying to regain their lives, we'll return your carts for free."
Toby Massey, the manager at North Coast Co-op in Eureka says he’s worked with New Directions before and is looking to do so again.
"Landscaping is one of things that we've been talking about,” Massey said. “As well as cart retrieval, which is a really big problem for every retail store out there."
He says the North Coast Co-op loses 2 to 3 carts a week, which can really add up.
"Carts run about 100 dollars a cart,” Massey said. “But for instance I just ordered 39 carts—new ones that needed to be replaced, and the shipping alone was $1,800."
That’s about 150 dollars for just one cart, and prices can very depending on size and material used.
Carts end up at the Bayshore Mall frequently, and will periodically be returned. But for the most part just sit in the parking lot.