The Inner City Youth Alive (ICYA) community group is launching a campaign for a program that will teach young adults in the North End of Winnipeg the trade of home construction and renovation.
The ICYA is a faith-based community group founded in 1986 that provides a safe, active and nurturing environment for children and youth in the heart of the North End.
The organization said the goal of the project is to present at-risk youth in the community with marketable skills and work experience.
“People in the North End want to work, they just need the opportunities,” said Kent Dueck, the organization’s executive director.
According to the ICYA, most of the youth they work with are experiencing poverty, drugs and violence on a daily basis, and many are missing school regularly as well.
“These youth have so much to offer. They have so many talents and skills they can develop. But they’re battling low expectations from everyone around them,” said Dueck.
“When they slip into addictions or get recruited by gangs, they are punished rather than helped.”
The program is about finding that potential in the youth and guiding them into doing something meaningful and valuable with their skills, said Dueck.
To put the plan into action, the ICYA is planning on building a duplex on an empty lot on Magnus Avenue that was gifted to them years ago.
In addition to that, the organization is also aiming to buy a building on Salter Avenue to be used as a home base to train and educate crews before they head to the construction sites.
The capital campaign is trying to raise $1.17 million to launch the project, alongside ICYA’s fundraiser of $475,000 from Manitobans willing to donate.
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