YouthBuild Participants Benefit from HUD HOPE VI and Section 3 Programs

[Photo: YouthBuild participants attend the Sheppard Square Grand Opening on March 10, 2014.]
YouthBuild participants attend the Sheppard Square Grand Opening on March 10, 2014.

YouthBuild Louisville participants are learning new job skills as they give back to the community through the Sheppard Square HOPE VI development. Since HUD invested $22 million into the redevelopment, HUD's Section 3 program requires that recipients of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent possible, provide job training, employment, and contract opportunities for low- or very low-income residents in connection with projects and activities in their neighborhoods.

"This is an investment in people, not just bricks and mortars," said Acting HUD Kentucky Field Office Director Robert D. Kuhnle.

Therefore the Louisville Metro Housing Authority ensured that through the Section 3 program that at least 57 individuals, including 12 former Sheppard Square residents, were hired to work on the project. Six YouthBuild participants are also considered Section 3 participants. The YouthBuild Louisville participants helped with the demolition phase as well as the construction phase of Sheppard Square and are now employees on the finish phases.

YouthBuild trainee/employee of Howell and Howell Construction, Keith Pilkerton, said "I have always wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and be a finish carpenter. After my YouthBuild training, I have been hired to hang cabinets and trim out the new apartments being built for families to come back to Sheppard Square. I am proud of my skills, my new job and my family at YouthBuild."

The Sheppard Square Section 3 Coordinator with Louisville Metro Housing Authority Phillip Stepteau served on the YouthBuild board for 12 years and understands the importance of the program. Stepteau had this to say, "YouthBuild is probably one of the best programs around because it builds the youth in the form of character as they have to give back to the community. They develop skills to carry on once they leave YouthBuild because every participant must work toward and receive their GED. They also receive at least 7 credit hours toward college and many participants do go on to higher learning institutions such as 2 and 4 year colleges. What makes the program so unique is its sense of family. Many of the participants who come from broken homes have said that YouthBuild is the family that they never had." He continued, "Lynn Rippy is the ultimate director for the YouthBuild program. She is more than just a director – the youth always talk about how much they love Lynn."

YouthBuild Louisville's vision is To champion young adults to build productive lives and sustainable communities. To participate in the program, applicants must be 16-24 year-old at risk youth. Learn more about YouthBuild Louisville (http://youthbuildlouisville.org/). Find out more about HUD's Section 3 program.

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Content Archived: August 8, 2016