Friday, January 16, 2009

YOUTHBUILD ACQUIRES NEXT PROJECT


Sometime in 2009, the City of Kingston will take ownership of the property at 136 Prospect St, not far from the Kingston Library. This will happen due to tax issues pertaining to the property.

I write about this because it gives me the opportunity to highlight a special program called YouthBuild. This is one of the great programs that does focus on idle out-of-school youth that are typically the most likely to get into mischief.

YouthBuild helps these youngsters avoid that path by providing them with educational opportunities and leadership development. Once enrolled in the YouthBuild program, they work on their GED, attain skills and job training through the construction rehabilitation project they are assigned to. With the leadership of skilled home artisans, these kids learn a trade with a hands-on approach while staying out of trouble during their most vulnerable age.

RUPCO plays a partner role in theis program as they secure the property. Once finished, the home is offered to a selected low income family looking for their first home. The contracts with that family stipulated a long term occupation, and once sold, the property goes back on the city tax roles.

This is a program that provides three outcomes: Teaching youth a trade while building self esteem, Revitalizing a neighborhood by fixing a property, and offering a stable invested family to provide a sense of pride.

At the last Council meeting, we offered YouthBuild the option of salvaging 136 Prospect St, which we felt will positively impact the Quality of Life inb that neighborhood. This actionat this time, provides a short cut for the planning and community development departments to enact the transfer when the city finally takes ownership.

Congrats to the Director of YouthBuild Bonnie Landi on a terrific track record and the acquisition of the next house!

2 comments:

Rebecca Martin said...

Bravo council members. Great project.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I think (based on what I know about this) that the City Council and YouthBuild have a "win-win" agreement going that is very positive for our city and our youth.

Great going!

NS