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Indy program helps youth build skills for the future by rehabilitating abandoned homes

Posted at 7:17 PM, Sep 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-26 19:23:48-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Trainees with a local program called Believers United in local Development, BUILD, are focusing on rehabilitating a home in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood.

BUILD is part of an overall effort to not only teach them skills for their future but also reduce crime in the community.

While improving an older woman's house on Indy's east side, trainees with BUILD are drilling down necessary skills.

Demorris Taylor is a few months into the BUILD program, and he's already looking ahead to what's next.

"After this, I hope to invest in real estate and start my own business one day and help people fix their houses," Taylor said.

BUILD is aimed at youth ages 16 to 24. They earn a weekly $200 stipend as they rehab houses in areas like Martindale-Brightwood, Riverside and Haughville.

"I was a part of the program when it first started," Daquan Ludy, a BUILD carpenter, said. "Now, I am the head carpenter."

Ludy knows first hand how the BUILD program impacts lives, and ultimately keeps young men and women on a positive track.

"This will show you how to make legit money and keep you off the streets because you have a skill now and you aren't trying to break in that window — you can fix that window," Ludy said.

"The more time we can keep them engaged in the classroom, increase their education, increasing their earning potential… The less time they are able to make a poor decision that may affect the rest of their lives," Troy Turner, BUILD program director, said.

By rehabbing homes in the communities where the trainees live, Turner hopes they build relationships with community members.

"And hopefully, possibly, buy a home or start maintaining a home in the community," Turner said. "All of those things create people who are engaged and start to build routes in the community, which reduces crime."

When training is complete, leaders stay engaged by helping trainees with their next step in life: finding a job or building a successful future.

BUILD just received a portion of $2.3 million in crime prevention grant money from the city. Leaders with BUILD say the $45,000 awarded through the Crime Prevention Grant Program will go directly to help even more young men and women.

The grant money allows trainees to rehab even more houses — not just for elderly folks, but also vacant homes. The extra money also helps provide training opportunities.

Want to get involved in B.U.I.L.D?

Call: 317-602-3260E-mail:

Believers United in Local Development (B.U.I.L.D.) (Awarded $45,000 through Crime Prevention Grant Program)

Through an expansion partnership with YouthBuild (a U.S. Department of Labor approved and nationally recognized training program), B.U.I.L.D provides education, construction training and placement for youth and young adults with a criminal background.

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