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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-67
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Friday
Or contact your local HUD officeApril 16, 1999


WASHINGTON - Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Saul Ramirez today presented a $450,000 grant to the Latin American Youth Center in Washington to provide education and job training to 25 young high school dropouts.

The grant under HUD's Youthbuild Program will fund classes to help the 25 participants receive high school equivalency diplomas, and will provide on-the-job training in homebuilding skills that will qualify the young people for careers as construction workers.

The Youthbuild participants - ranging in age from 16 to 24 - will acquire their construction skills by rehabilitating 14 housing units in a building in the Enterprise Community in Washington's Columbia Heights neighborhood. The units will then be sold to low- and moderate-income families, providing them with needed affordable housing.

"This program brings new hope to high school dropouts, enabling them to build housing for families in need while building new careers and new lives for themselves," Ramirez said. "Through the Latin American Youth Center, Youthbuild is helping young people work their way out of poverty."

The Latin American Youth Center's Executive Director, Lori Kaplan, said: "HUD and Youthbuild have helped improve the lives of many families in this community. This grant will enable us to continue helping residents and making our neighborhood more beautiful."

Youthbuild is one of many programs that the Latin American Youth Center provides. Operating since 1974, the Center serves 3,000 youth and family members a year. In addition to educational, arts and recreational activities, it operates the Next Step Public Charter School for single teen parents and Youth Radio, DC (a school-to-work media training center).

HUD has awarded more than $170 million in Youthbuild grants since the program began in 1993, enabling over 7,800 young people to take part in building or rehabilitating more than 3,650 houses and apartment units in their communities.

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