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Beer for Work

Jasper Juinen | Netherlands

Fred Schiphorst after waking up at his home in Amsterdam.

After more than a decade out of work, because of chronic alcoholism, Fred Schiphorst finally landed a job and is determined to keep it. His workday begins unfailingly at 10 a.m. - with two cans of beer, a down payment on a salary paid mostly in alcohol. He gets two more cans at lunch and then another can or, if all goes smoothly, two to round off a productive day. "I'm not proud of being an alcoholic, but I am proud to have a job again," said Mr. Schiphorst, the grateful beneficiary of an unusual government-funded program to lure alcoholics off the streets by paying them partially in beer to pick up trash.

After more than a decade out of work, because of chronic alcoholism, Fred Schiphorst finally landed a job and is determined to keep it. His workday begins unfailingly at 10 a.m. - with two cans of beer, a down payment on a salary paid mostly in alcohol. "I'm not proud of being an alcoholic, but I am proud to have a job again," said Mr. Schiphorst, the grateful beneficiary of an unusual government-funded program to lure alcoholics off the streets by paying them partially in beer to pick up trash. Mr. Schiphorst said he started drinking heavily in the 1970s after he found his first wife, who was pregnant with twins, dead in their home from a drug overdose. "Every day is a struggle," you may see these guys hanging around here, chatting, making jokes. But I can assure you, every man you see here carries a little backpack with their own misery in it."

Jasper Juinen

Piet Heinstraat 1Bis

3582 BX, Utrecht

The Netherlands

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