Motor City “Stimulus”: $148,000 to Dress Two Low-income Job Seekers: As part of the 2009 federal “stimulus” law, the Detroit Department of Human Services (DHS) received an $11 million grant courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. Of that money, $148,000 was spent on providing business attire for low-income job seekers — all two of them.
According to the Detroit News, a city audit of the DHS — already in trouble for “chronic mismanagement of federal funds,” including “the purchase of $182,000 worth of high-end furniture for a department office” — found that the department had essentially handed the cash to a third-party contractor with no oversight whatsoever. As one would expect, things did not quite turn out as advertised.
The DHS used the $11 million grant to open a service center that included the Customer Choice Pantry, the New Beginnings Clothing Boutique, and a call center. The boutique’s purpose was to provide business attire for low-income residents to wear to job interviews; anyone seeking such attire had to have an interview scheduled first.