In 1988 we asked young people to seek an alternative to street life. The process to achieve this task would involve a series of experimental steps. As each young person identified a potential task to work on, an alternative to street was identified. Once the potential alternative was identified a $15 bonus was given. This was done 8 times a month and up to 100 times total for the potential of $1500 in a 12 month period of time.
Since 1988 the original 30 young people have grown in number. Now throughout North America over 200,000 contract steps have been created. This blog invites you to add to their stories.
On the following pages the contract and bonus process will be explained. Parallels to other “cash transfer” projects will be given. News stories, video clips and downloadable materials will be offered.
Since the inception of The Back Door in Calgary, Alberta, Canada the emphasis has been to invest money directly into the lives of people seeking to be self directed and ultimately self sufficient. The contract created an understanding of the direction each person wanted to go. The discussion around the contract helped both the street youth and the non-street staff or volunteer to understand the goal of the young person. The bonus became a way to affirm the young person as an equal partner in this endeavor. The opportunity for another contract and bonus encouraged accountability as each contract helped build hope for an alternative life. To know more read The Back Door, an experiment or an alternative.