The purpose of YouthBuild USA is to unleash the positive energy of low-income young adults to rebuild their communities and their lives, breaking the cycle of poverty with a commitment to work, education, community, and family. YouthBuild USA incorporated in 1990 to replicate and scale the YouthBuild program with quality after it had succeeded in five NYC neighborhoods. There are now 264 programs in 46 states, Washington DC, and the Virgin Islands. Since 1994, over 120,000 YouthBuild students have built over 22,000 units of affordable, increasingly green, housing. In 2013, YouthBuild International engaged 12,000 young adults in 16 countries.
Community- and faith-based nonprofit organizations sponsor most YouthBuild
programs, many of which are led by social entrepreneurs like Dorothy Stoneman, recipient of the 2007 Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship, started the first YouthBuild program in East Harlem in 1978.
In local YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16–24 enroll
full-time for about ten months where they work toward their GEDs or high
school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable housing for
homeless and low-income people and participating in leadership development
activities in their communities.
YouthBuild USA supports the quality, capacity, and innovative programming at
local YouthBuild programs through a varieity of public and privately funded
initiatives that provide training, technical assistance and pass-through
YouthBuild USA’s Green Initiative supports green affordable housing, green career development, and environmental leadership at YouthBuild programs nationwide. We create opportunities for low-income, disengaged youth to become environmental leaders in their professional and personal lives.
YouthBuild USA joined forces with USGBC in 2010 in order to foster partnerships between USGBC Chapters and YouthBuild programs, and to work nationally to open pathways for YouthBuild staff, students, and graduates to pursue LEED credentialing and build LEED certified affordable housing.