April 2, 2007
FUNDING HELPS LOWELL AGENCY GIVE AT-RISK YOUTH A SECOND CHANCE
Program has helped hundreds of area at-risk youth get a new start
LOWELL, MA - Young people who lack basic education face a lifetime of underemployment and can be at higher risk
of homelessness. Today, Community Teamworks, Inc., a social service agency that helps low-income residents become self-sufficient, got a boost with the announcement of a grant that will bring skills, diplomas and new affordable housing to Lowell.
The $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used to continue the successful YouthBuild program. The grant, which was announced by HUD Regional Director Taylor Caswell, is part
of $45.5 million in funding nationwide to help thousands of low-income young people who never finished high school return to school to earn their diplomas, while training them for a future in the construction trades and other
careers. YouthBuild grants provide funding to offer job training and leadership skills to more than 3,000 young adults
in a nationwide network of more than 200 programs that challenge unemployed and undereducated residents ages
16-24 to work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning construction skills by building or renovating affordable housing for low-income and homeless individuals. The grant to CTI is one of eight awarded in Massachusetts totaling $5.6 million.
"The YouthBuild program serves a population that needs a bridge between youth and adulthood," said Caswell. "Community Teamworks has an excellent track record using this funding to help teenagers earn their diplomas and start them on a new career path. At the same time we are producing affordable homes for low-income families,
which creates another advantage for the community."
Since 1999, CTI has provided training to more than 200 students enrolled in the YouthBuild program. The program
is a 10-month cycle where the students alternate between one week in the classroom and one week at a construction site. Recruitment into the program is made through the Lowell School Department, the Lowell Housing Authority, and social service agencies. Some of the affordable housing projects the students have completed
include new construction of a duplex on Suffolk Street; gut rehab of three units on Lakeview Avenue; rehab of a
nine-family property on Broadway Street; and rehab of CTI's homeless family shelter on Merrimack Street.
With this funding, CTI will partner with the Massachusetts YouthBuild Coalition, Lowell Housing Authority, and the
City of Lowell Parks Department to provide education and life skills training to area teenagers while constructing
two new houses.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as
well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.