Cleveland Teens Begin Building Great Futures Innovative Program Launched by Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Youth Opportunities Unlimited and Cuyahoga County

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On June 5th, sixteen teens from East Tech and John Adams high schools began rehabilitating two abandoned homes in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood as part of an innovative program designed to train youth in the construction trades and provide hands-on experience.

The initiative, Building Great Futures, is a partnership between Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Youth Opportunities Unlimited and Cuyahoga County.

The teens are BGCC members. Since late April, they have been learning the construction trades from construction professionals at Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. BGCC President and CEO Ron Soeder called the program “a terrific opportunity for our teens to learn construction and possibly even open a meaningful career path. Our teens have embraced this idea enthusiastically.”

An anonymous donor to paying for all the materials needed to rehab the houses, as well as providing financial support for the Habitat staff and equipment/vehicles dedicated to on-site construction. Craig Dorn, president and CEO of Youth Opportunities Unlimited, said, “YOU is thrilled to be part of this collaboration. It perfectly captures our goal of providing training opportunities for youth that put them on a path to economic self-sufficiency. And we welcome the opportunity to partner with two great organizations – Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland and Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.”

YOU is providing hourly stipends to the participants. The houses that will be renovated are on East 130th Street in Cleveland. The project is part of a larger neighborhood revitalization campaign being undertaken by Habitat in 2018, one that will encompass eight fully-rehabbed houses for new homeowners and assist up to 100 existing residents with exterior improvements. Corporate sponsors to be announced in the next several weeks are undertaking two additional large projects for this neighborhood.

The family of a Boys & Girl Clubs of Cleveland member participating in this program will own one of the rehabbed homes. John Habat, president and CEO of Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, said, “In addition to providing new homes for families in search of affordable housing, this program intends to show the students that their future is within their own control and that a successful career, including home ownership, is available to them.”

Cuyahoga County is providing resources for case management, career coaching and training/education through the County Internship Program. The Home Depot is providing a stipend for safety boots for all participants, as well as all of the tools and tool belts the students will use and own after the program. As part of their formal classroom training at ABC, the teen workers achieved OSHA certification and made their own toolboxes.

About the Partners

Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity strengthens communities, restores homes, revitalizes local neighborhoods and invests in those who seek to become a homeowner. Habitat changed its model in 2013 and now fully rehabs vacant homes concentrated on the same street or in the same Cleveland neighborhood.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland provides safe, fun places for kids ages 6-18 after school at 13 locations throughout the city, focusing on healthy lifestyles, academic success and character development.

Youth Opportunities Unlimited is a nonprofit workforce development organization based in Cleveland, Ohio that serves teens and young adults ages 14-24 living in economically distressed areas in Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Lake Counties.

Cuyahoga County is committed to making the region vibrant and prosperous where everyone thrives and all things are possible.

Additional Support

The Home Depot – Home Depot is providing the necessary tools and equipment for the program participants, which they will be able to keep following completion of project.

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. – Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. is providing educational classroom training of construction trades.

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