Weighing Both Sides

Weighing Both Sides

Reasons for or against a proposed day-labor site are compared.

Benefits vs. Disadvantages

The benefits for day workers who would participate in a regulated site include the opportunity to gather at a familiar and accessible location where employers can easily find them. Additional benefits for workers include:

* Connect with businesses and individuals for employment in a variety of skill/trade areas.

* Participate in job training and skills development programs.

* Participate in adult education and literacy programs, such as ESOL and U.S. citizenship preparation.

* Receive legal advice and/or mediation services around wage disputes.

* Attend seminars and receive information and assistance with regard to immigration and naturalization issues, taxpayer registration and legal assistance over wage disputes.

* Access lockers and a tool lending library to equip workers with resources to be successful in employment.

* Receive assistance and/or referrals to address such needs as food, shelter and medical care.

(Information from Project Hope and Harmony's application for a conditional use permit.)

Community Benefits

The benefits for residents include:

* The corner of Alabama drive and Elden Street no longer being the unofficial gathering site for men looking for work.

* The ability to enforce anti-solicitation laws once a regulated site is approved, declaring it illegal for anyone to find work outside of the regulated site.

* The ability to enforce regulations and control at the official site, ensuring workers behave appropriately or face legal ramifications.

* People on the corner not wanting to work, but instead contributing to community public safety concerns — including drunk in public and urination in public — would possibly be easier to identify and punish.

* Potentially increase dialogue between day workers and the community which could possibly reduce stereotypes and fears.

* Gaining more control over a currently unregulated activity that appears it will not disappear.

* If a site is not approved it will be at least another six months or one year before another proposed solution could go through the town's governmental process and be before the Town Council for a vote.

(Information from Town of Herndon and Project Hope and Harmony officials.)

Community Disadvantages

Residents opposed to the creation of a regulated site have said disadvantages include:

* Workers potentially trespassing through residential neighborhoods and private property to get to the site.

* A possible decrease in property values around the proposed site.

* The possibility of men loitering outside the proposed site once it is closed for the day.

* Offering assistance via taxpayer money to possibly undocumented citizens, a violation of federal, state and local laws.

* The creation of a site would possibly attract more workers to Herndon.

* A possible increase in crime will occur around the proposed site if approved.

(Information from town residents and concerned citizens through interviews and public testimony.)