YouthBuild revitalizing Smoketown and digging paths for young adults

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Louisville's Smoketown Neighborhood, full of shotgun homes and alleyways, but in the midst of this area bounded by railroad tracks and narrow streets is a bright spot.

"People walk by and say wow this place is really fixed up! When I look at it, it's hard to believe we put it together, to see what it was before and after it's like dang, we did this," Troy Duncan said.

It is urban farming, the ground serves as the canvas and with the right tools a masterpiece can be created.

Louisville's YouthBuild helps people ages 16 to 24 like Troy Duncan earn their high school diplomas while obtaining certifications in fields like nursing, construction and one of the most important lessons of being a sustainable adult.



"I'm out here every day from 9 to 5. I like the program, glad I came here," Duncan said.

While YouthBuild is helping these students, many say these students are helping their community.

Lynn Rippy is YouthBuild's Executive Director and describes the need for this garden, "Smoketown is a food desert and there's only one Kroger store that's even close to this neighborhood and people have to take a bus to get there. People can grow their own food and become healthier right there in that space and we're taking a blighted space and turning it into something productive."

As Duncan heads to July on track to receive his GED and hopefully follow his plans to be an Electrician, he'll keep his hands in the ground for now, humbled and proud of a hard day's work.

After being asked what his hope is for YouthBuild, Duncan said, "That they help a lot more people after me, a lot of people who need it and nobody gets left behind."

The revitalization of Smoketown continues.

Services for the young adults are free if they join YouthBuild.

For more information head to http://youthbuildlouisville.org/


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