Sixteen teens from East Tech and John Adams high schools have started renovating two abandoned Cleveland homes as part of Building Great Futures, an initiative by Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio and Youth Opportunities Unlimited.
In the program, which is in its third year, teens learn the construction trades and then help renovate Habitat for Humanity homes. Work started this week and will continue throughout the summer.
The homes are in southeast Cleveland, at 4732 E. 176th St. and 17013 Holly Hill Drive.
“With all of national challenges we are facing due to COVID 19 and racial disharmony, the Boys & Girls Clubs construction internship for inner-city teenagers is more important than ever,” said John Habat, president and CEO of Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. “The program – a national model – has proven to be a solid launching pad for participants, not only in construction, but also in the job readiness skills they develop that are necessary to start a successful career path.”
BGCNEO President and CEO Jeff Scott, who grew up working in his family’s construction business, said the program is having “a powerful impact — teaching teens the construction trades so they can rehabilitate homes in their community and at the same time consider a new career path. We have had dozens of teens feel the sense of pride that comes with working with your hands.”
The teens were trained in the construction trades at Associated Builders and Contractors in Broadview Heights and have earned federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification.
Additional support for this program has come from an anonymous donor, Cuyahoga County, Electrical League of Ohio, national Electrical Contractors Association, PEPCO, Steel Blue, Home Depot and Pride One.
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 Northeast Ohio provides safe, fun places for kids ages 6-18 after school, focusing on healthy lifestyles, academic success, career readiness and character development. BGCNEO was created in 2019 by the merger of Clubs in Cleveland, Akron, Lorain County and Erie County.
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.