The Pinellas County Housing Authority teamed again with WorkNet Pinellas to provide job-training opportunities to at-risk youth. On Friday, October 14, 2011 youth participating in the YouthBuild Pinellas began the implementation of an affordable housing Florida-friendly landscape design project at Crystal Lakes Manor. The project included design, planting, mulching, fertilizing and more.
Crystal Lakes Manor is a 55 and older affordable housing community located in Pinellas Park. The property is home to 237 very-low to moderate income seniors. The seniors are very happy with the beautification of their community and the youth were excited about learning about landscaping.
YouthBuild provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24. The youth split their time between the affordable housing site and the classroom, where they earn their GED or high school diploma, learn to be community leaders, and prepare for college and other postsecondary training opportunities. YouthBuild includes significant support systems, such as a mentoring, follow-up education, employment, and personal counseling services, as well as participation in community service and civic engagements.
The Pinellas County Housing Authority previously partnered with YouthBuild Pinellas to provide opportunities for hands-on work experience in exterior painting. Debra Johnson, PCHA’s executive director said “The blessing is two-fold. We have an opportunity to positively impact the lives of young people, and our seniors will have a beautiful community to call home”.