Ground Score’s G.L.I.T.T.E.R Program provides litter collection and tentside waste collection services for houseless camps across the Portland Metro Region. G.L.I.T.T.E.R.'s name was sourced by workers: it stands for Ground Score Leading Inclusively Together Through Environmental Recovery.
Ground Score’s G.L.I.T.T.E.R. Program began in February of 2021 in partnership with the City of Portland’s Impact Reduction Program (IRP). G.L.I.T.T.E.R. was created and is implemented through a trauma-informed lens by people who are experiencing, or have recently experienced, homelessness.
GSA currently runs about 24 tentside waste collection routes in Old Town, SW downtown, the Central Eastside, North Portland, and East Multnomah County. Collection crews go out on foot or bike and leave materials in designated locations for Ground Score's e-bike and truck crews to later collect for disposal.
While much of the materials discarded at camps is non-recyclable, we are working to establish a more circular economy for many of the materials, particularly metals, batteries, and textiles. Clothing waste is taken to Hygiene4All for washing and redistribution, and non-reusable clothes are sent for rag-making. Furniture, wood and textile waste is also upcycled through Ground Score’s Reuse and Repair program.
G.L.I.T.T.E.R. has directly hired 43 members of the community, over 95% of whom were formerly or currently are houseless.
Since having started working for G.L.I.T.T.E.R., 60% of those workers have become housed.
Because of G.L.I.T.T.E.R., our team is able to provide life-saving support services, including stable income, digital equity training, CPR/first-aid training, de-escalation training, and resource navigation support—including support with re-entry into the formal workforce.
Ground Score's G.L.I.T.T.E.R. program is rooted in the idea that basic sanitation—including waste collection—is an essential service and a human right.