Pico Rivera officials are hoping that wards from the California Youth Authority can solve a longstanding problem: the lack of painted street numbers on curbs in front of people's homes.
Twelve youths from the Fred C. Nelles School in Whittier have begun painting the first of 16,000 curbside addresses in the city's southeast corner. The work should be finished by the end of June. The city supplies the paint and the tools. The youths, ages 18 to 21, are paid minimum wage through a federal job-training program, said Christine Schaefer, assistant to the city manager. Some of their earnings will go to a restitution fund for crime victims. An adult supervisor is monitoring each painting crew, Schaefer said.
The curbside addresses are needed to help firefighters, police officers and city visitors locate residences quickly.
Past attempts to recruit other groups to do the painting have failed. "Boy Scouts, church groups, they were younger kids and their interest waned," Schaefer said. "A project as big as this one requires continuity and consistency."