Blue Bag Program helps keep Winston-Salem beautiful while giving people a second chance

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The people you see picking up the litter along New Walkertown Road are part of the SOAR program, Successful Outcomes After Release.

“I’m glad I got into it because it keeps me out of trouble,” said Quentin Galloway, a participant.

Galloway was formerly incarcerated. Now he spends four days a week picking up trash in different areas of Winston-Salem.

“This is a program for individuals that had a brush with the law that have some type of blemish on their background that hinders them from getting full-time employment,” said Troy Sneed, SOAR program assistant.

The people in the program work closely with the sanitation department in the city of Winston-Salem.

“They get an opportunity to prove they can be dependable, work hard, and be on time. They prove those things without looking at their record first,” Sneed said.

Joshua Coleman says he’s learned professional skills in the program.

He’s also become more connected with his community.

“Being around here and seeing how it involves and how it impacts the neighborhood and the people around the neighborhood, it makes you feel better about yourself,” Coleman said.

It’s also helping Galloway prepare for his long-term career.

“I plan on going into sanitation in the long run. If I can hold on and finish this program, I’ll be a successful participant in the program,” Galloway said.

For more information about the SOAR Program and the Blue Bag Program, click here.

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