BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore city officials hired squeegee kids to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mayor’s Office of Children & Family Success staffed several sites with squeegee kids to distribute meals from Family League at several sites around the city. So far the youth have assisted in serving 6,900 meals at eight sites.

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“It gives us something to do other than be outside on the corner,” one squeegee kids said.

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According to an email from officials, those participating have consistently shown up every day.

“So often, our youth who squeegee are being recognized for causing disruption, and now they’re being recognized for serving the community which, is such a good opportunity for the city,” Eddie Hawkins, of the Mayor’s Office of Children Family and Success, said.

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This is a part of the Earn As You Grow piece of the Squeegee Alternative Plan. They are being paid $50 per day or $250 per week.

“We want them to get into something that’s very productive,” Mayor Jack Young said. “We know they have entrepreneurial skills because of what they’re doing. But we want them to change that energy into something more productive.”

When there’s downtime, the squeegee boys are going door-to-door to let people know about where they can find meals and delivering meals to seniors’ doors. They are also reminding the public to wash their hands and practice social distancing.

Participants like Tony Brown enroll in the one-year program and in turn receive a mentor, job training and get a chance to take part in income earning opportunities.

“We all need to come together as one. We should not be fighting. We should be coming together as one community,” Brown said. “It’s a great feeling to help someone out who really needs it.”

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Rachel Menitoff