Youth renovate derelict North End building

Courtesy of CBC News

After more than 10 years sitting vacant, a derelict building on Winnipeg’s Powers Street is nearly ready to be lived in. The major makeover is thanks to a group of inner-city youth who dedicated their time to rebuilding the structure and learning a trade at the same time.

Inner City Youth Alive, a faith-based organization, bought the eye-sore from the City of Winnipeg for $2, on the condition they would train youth in home renovation skills and convert it into low-income housing.

That plan came to fruition Wednesday. Kent Dueck, the organization’s founder, said the project helped more than a dozen teens get job-relevant training.

“There’s 13 different youth that were involved and were actually able to get some training and learn some basic skills to bolster their resume and give them a chance,” said Dueck.

The group of 13 had to gut the entire building and start from scratch.

“It was just another boarded up home in our community,” said Dueck.

George Grouette was one of the first young people to sign up for the rebuild. He said before the renovation, the building was “crap. You didn’t want to walk in.”

Now, the finishing touches are nearly in place, and the North End property will soon be move-in ready.

“You get to make a little bit of money, and you also get to help other people out. I think that goes hand in hand,” said 20-year-old Grouette.

The home will be available for viewing at an open house scheduled for Thursday.

When the project is completed, the house will go on the market to get seed money for the organization’s next renovation project.

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