A year and a half ago, the District launched a pilot program called Sweat Equity, in which it took a group of people who had been both homeless and on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and put them to work renovating abandoned city buildings on Southeast’s Wayne Place. The hope was that by the end of the program, they would have jobs and a place to live. Several are now living there.
Sweat Equity participant, Michael Jackson, left, hugs the washing machine, which he says is one of his favorite feature of the new apartments. Omar Martin, right, lives in the apartment with two-year-old Omar Martin Jr. Jackson lives upstairs. They both now work for a construction company, earning about $14.50 an hour, and they have business plans to eventually own the Wayne Place buildings. Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post Buy Photo