Press

Urban Edge – Fall 2018

Read the Full Urban Edge here: Urban Edge – Fall 2018   The Art of Play I am a workaholic. Therefore I am completely unqualifed to talk about play, but perhaps this will be a cathartic first step in the precontemplation mode for me. Perhaps writing about it will make me want to actually do it. Seriously, it’s not that bad. For me, work is play. Kids are by nature serious about playing. They take it every bit as seriously as many of us take our work. In play life is acted out and rehearsed so that kids can grow up to be healthy. All of our programs have that element built in for a reason. We use games and dramas and even worship for kids to tinker with ideas that will someday be serious business. I see staff at camp acting out skits about life and the challenges that come up in the lives of our kids. There is one character, named Billy, who is sort of eternal. He is a kid (played by one of our wonderful staff) who is used in the dramas at camp and always gets into trouble. He has a naughty kind of charm. He does bad things in the skits, but in a way that you end up loving him. The kids that come to camp year after year all know “Billy.” Actually Billy opens up hard topics in an amusing way. There is always laughter, but the goal is to use the playfulness of drama to talk about the real issues in the kids’ lives. So at ICYA play is a way of getting to serious issues and then bringing the healing love of Jesus into the picture. In the Drop-in kids play games, do crafts and generally horse around. Play is important here as well. So many of our kids are forced to grow up too soon. I have seen kids saddled with responsibilities at home that are adult responsibilities. There is always a history why this happens, but my point is that often kids don’t get to be kids. In...

Read More

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. + Click to watch a video report on the...

Read More

Inner city youth group restores formerly derelict home

Courtesy of CTV News Winnipeg Two years ago, Inner City Youth Alive bought a derelict home on Powers Street from the city for $2. Now, the group has helped restore the home, with youths working alongside trained professionals to renovate and upgrade the structure, which was previously boarded up for a decade. The home was shown off at an event on Thursday. The project was used to help develop skills in young people from the neighbourhood, said officials. With the help of trained professionals, young adults were taught the skills of the trade. “We did all the flooring, then the doors,” said Jeremy Soldad, who worked on the house. Part of the Inner City Youth Alive’s mandate is to empower and develop skills in unemployed young people. + Click to watch a video report on the...

Read More

Building citizens one home at a time

Written by Randy Turner, courtesy of Winnipeg Free Press Jeremy Soldat stole cars. He was good at it, too. Now, the 20-year-old, who walked out of jail last year and vowed never to return, wants to rebuild his past. One house at a time, if necessary. “People used to ask me all the time where I was going to be in five years,” Soldat said. “I never knew the answer. Now I know.” Soldat was part of a crew of 13 members of Inner City Youth Alive that turned a two-buck house on Powers Street, along Redwood Avenue, into a home that could fetch $140,000 on the market. Now, Soldat wants to renovate another one. So does ICYA. “We have an eye on another property in the community,” said Kent Dueck, the founder of the faith-based organization, sponsored primarily by a wide range of churches. “We’re hoping this can just keep rolling.” Dueck’s group bought the house for $2 from the city almost two years ago, when it was an abandoned rat-trap where squatters lit fires inside to keep warm. The place was coated in pigeon dung. Recalled Dueck: “Ugh. It was disgusting.” Some people in the construction industry said Dueck would be better off taking a wrecking ball to the place. But the symbolism of restoring the existing home mirrored the group’s philosophy toward the 900 youth and young adults that are affiliated with ICYA programs, first incorporated in 1990. “Let’s work with what we’ve got,” Dueck decided. “You can take the old and the derelict and turn it around.” Turns out, the young and the derelict can get renovated, too. Soldat was hired by ICYA for the renovation job about six months ago. He’d just left Milner Ridge Correctional Centre after a 19-month stretch — the latest incarceration since his first brush with the law as a 12-year-old. By 15, Soldat was infamous for car thefts. He couldn’t tell you how many he stole. Crown attorneys could, though. But after Milner Ridge, Soldat vowed to stay clean. “I just told myself I wanted to be done with...

Read More

$2 house gets new lease on life

Written by Dave Baxter, courtesy of Metro Winnipeg Youth from an inner city youth program have completely renovated a derelict house in Winnipeg’s North End that had been boarded up for over 10 years. The house at 286 Powers St, was bought by Inner City Youth Alive from the city for $2 in 2011, and used as a construction program for unemployed youth ages 19-30. The project was used to help youth get work experience and also help revitalize the area. “It just feels good to see our hard work pay off and to see how many people have come by today to see the house,” said Jeremy Soldat, 20, who worked on the project with a crew of about 13 guys. Kent Dueck, executive director of Inner City Youth Alive, said the house was an eyesore before the organization got their hands on it. “It was just gross”, said Dueck. “Birds were getting in through the top windows. Pigeons were in here. There was a fire in the kitchen and smoke damage throughout the building and you could see the remnants of squatters.” “It has been completely...

Read More

Video: Global Winnipeg, Cold Calculations Part 1, A look at crime and violence

Courtesy of Global Winnipeg Part 1 of Global Winnipeg’s investigative series Cold Calculations looks at communities within the city all too familiar with crime and violence. Megan Batchelor reports. Click here to watch the video on Global Winnipeg’s...

Read More