The Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority (YMHA), in collaboration with the Mahoning county Department of Jobs and Family Services and Youngstown City Schools Choffin Career and Technical Center, began discussions in early 2000 to establish a YouthBuild program in Mahoning County. As a result, YouthBuild Mahoning County was created and began accepting students in March 2001.
Since its inception, youthBuild has completed numerous major home renovations and two new home construction projects and subsequently sold them to low income families in the city of Youngstown. YouthBuild also performed multiple jobs for YMHA and the City of Youngstown's Community Development Agency which resulted in more program funding and employment for our graduates.
In 2001, 2003, and 2005, YouthBuild received grant awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development totaling $1.8 million to provide an alternative school to assist high school dropouts ages 18-24 with training in construction, leadership, and education. Many or our graduates are gainfully employed and/or attending college and have a tremendous amount of appreciation and respect for the program.
In October 2008, YouthBuild Mahoning County began receiving its funding from the U.S. Department of Labor.
“The positive energy and intelligence of young people need to be liberated and enlisted in
solving the problems facing our society. Young people in poor communities want to rebuild
their neighborhoods and their lives, and will do so if given the opportunity. The desire to
serve, to do meaningful work, which is of value to other people, is universal. Community
based organizations need to be given the resources to solve local problems and to mobilize
local people, including neighborhood youth. Leadership development is a central element of
effective community development and youth service.”