BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An appeal is being sent out to business owners in the area.
The man sending it calls it the “Hire a Squeegee Boy Challenge.” The idea is that simple, employ one of the young men who approach cars wanting to wash windshields at city intersections.
Taurus Barksdale posted the message on Instagram on Monday
“Man, these dudes looking to work,” he said. “This post right here is for strictly business. You got a business in the city, comment on my post right now.”
Since the post, six businesses have responded.
“There’s a big narrative going around the city that these guys are bad guys,” Barksdale said. “That they like to start trouble.”
Earlier this month, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison heard complaints about the squeegee kids.
“If people stop giving them money, the problem will go away,” Harrison said.
But Barksdale had a better idea, give them another way to earn.
“Those guys are not angry guys, they’re not mean guys,” Barksdale said. “Squeegeeing is the only way they can make money at this point but they’re ready to work.”
Barksdale found 18-year-old Damonta Nickerson with a squeegee at an intersection on Northern Parkway and offered him a job.
Nickerson had applied at fast food restaurants and never heard back. When his friends heard he got work, they and over 100 other squeegee kids contacted Barksdale hoping for a chance.
“People just be needing help on like, lawn mowing and all that,” Nickerson said. “Them squeegee kids be doing it.”
If you have a job for a squeegee boy, no matter how small, Barksdale urges you to reach out to his Instagram page and let him know. He will find someone for you.