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North St. Louis YouthBuild

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that the Friedens Neighborhood Foundation will receive a $400,000 grant to start a new YouthBuild program in the Hyde Park neighborhood of north city.

YouthBuild works to unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives. The program emphasizes leadership development, neighborhood service and the creation of a strong community of adults and youth committed to each other's success.

The HUD grant will enable 40 unemployed and undereducated people ages 16-24 to work toward their GEDs while learning construction skills by building affordable housing. Participants will gain hands-on experience by rehabbing the deteriorating Old German School Building at 1908 Newhouse Avenue into two residential units.

North St. Louis YouthBuild will be based in the 63107 zip code, an area in great need of such a program. 34.3% of the families in the 63107 zip code are below the poverty level, 3.7 times the national average. 22.1% of the civilian labor force is unemployed, 5.5 times the national average. The dropout rates at Vashon and Beaumont, the two general attendance public high schools serving the area, are 23.5% and 31.8%, respectively, compared to a national average of 4.4%. 74.3% of the children in the 63107 zip code receive food stamps, compared to 13.3% nationally.

The Friedens Neighborhood Foundation's major partners for the YouthBuild program include the Friedens Church Council, the Friedens Cemetery Board, the St. Louis Public Schools, The Commonspace, Life Crisis Services and Ameriprise Financial. The foundation also runs a community garden, weekly community lunch, food pantry and neighborhood health program.

YouthBuild was founded in East Harlem, NY, in 1978 by Dorothy Stoneman. Last year, there were 226 YouthBuild sites in the U.S.

Posted under Other by Brian Marston on Wed., Nov 29, 2006 at 11:50 PM



I just learned that you are being very modest in this posting. Congratulations on your involvement in putting all this together!

Good luck with the project; the kids and neighborhood are very fortunate to have you working with them. Youthbuild is a great program.

It has done amazing things for the kids in East St. Louis through the Emerson Park Development Corporation.

[Posted by rick on Fri., Jan 12, 2007 at 8:38 AM]

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