WHAT’S HAPPENING

In July, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms created an advisory council to develop strategies designed to help promote youth entrepreneurship in Atlanta.

The Administrative Order tasked public agencies, residents and leaders from the faith and business communities – along with other stakeholders – to find safe alternatives for young people to earn money, including those who sell water and other goods on street corners.

The illegal practice has come under increasing scrutiny because of its potential danger to the youths and to others.

Many believe that while the youngsters’ entrepreneurial instincts are commendable, selling water on the street simply poses an unacceptable risk. Finding a solution will take a multi-pronged approach and will rely heavily on a lot of people working together from all aspects of society.

We talked to some of the teens who earn money selling water. Many understand the risks but say they have few alternatives – adding that they’d rather make a few dollars this way than resorting to quick-money crime.

There are also community groups trying to deal with the issue one teen at a time. Helping Empower Youth (HEY!) is one of them.