Controversial São Paulo project offers jobs to crack addicts in Cracolândia

But critics say the city’s Open Arms programme is flawed by not requiring participants to give up drugs
The Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On a mild winter morning in São Paulo, two dozen people pick up brooms and rubbish bins from a warehouse. They wear blue jumpsuits with a De Braços Abertos (With Open Arms) logo, referring to a controversial new programme for crack cocaine addicts, and set off to sweep streets in the city centre. The Open Arms programme provides housing, food and jobs to more than 400 people in an area known as Cracolândia (Crackland). The city-run programme is the latest intervention to try to curb the city’s large open-air drug market. Proponents say it could be a model for other cities in the region. Critics worry that it will delay addicts’ rehabilitation.