COLUMBIA - Columbia Builds Youth students and other members of Job Point and the community celebrated the opening of a newly renovated home Wednesday.
The home at 102 East Sexton Avenue opened to the community with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Columbia Build Youth students then offered tours of the one-story home.
"I'm smiling on the inside...people can look at this home and be like 'The youth did this,'" student worker Dushane Griffith said.
The construction manager Brian Shannon said this program is about much more than construction. "You don't only see the homes transform but also the students. They become more confident, not only in their practical skills, but also in the skin they're in," Shannon said.
Columbia Builds Youth assists disadvantaged youth ages 16 to 24 to advance educational levels, develop leadership and obtain construction skills training. The organization also advances the students toward high growth and high demand occupations, all while building affordable housing in the community's most impoverished neighborhoods.
The Home Builders Institute and the National Center for Construction Education and Research form the classroom curricula for the students. Students then have the opportunity to apply this practical knowledge while building homes under the supervision of Job Point's Community Housing Development Organization.
Once the team completes a home, it is sold to income-eligible individuals or families, with down payment assistance available with the City of Columbia. Besides construction, students also interact with the community through service and not-for-profit projects.
This home is worth $118,000 but it is selling for $90,000. The tax and insurance rate is also at a discounted price of $600 a month. Any interested buyers can call Brian Shannon at (573) 489-8548.
The organization's next renovation project is a two-story home on Madison Street in Columbia.