Teenagers from the area have been selected to join Dream Builders 4 Equity in landscaping and finishing a once dilapidated property.
ST. LOUIS – A house on Randall Place in the Hyde Park neighborhood has a new life and the teens who have worked on the property have a life-changing experience.
The Dream Builders 4 Equity team landscaped the property, added a private fence, and washed the house on Wednesday.
The association brings in teenagers from the northern city or the southern city to give back to the community. Teens work in homes, learn financial literacy, and show care and respect for the neighborhoods they grew up in.
The Randall Place home will be sold to a family in need.
âWe’re not taking any shortcuts, we’re installing brand new systems, brand new flooring, everything and it will be completely new,â said Founder Michael Woods.
The mission of Dream Builders is twofold, to improve the neighborhoods of St. Louis and the lives of the young people who live there.
âOur goal right now is to do 25 home renovations, probably 25 in Hyde Park, but also to complete 25 free home renovations for seniors,â said Woods.
It’s an ambitious goal and Dream Builders 4 Equity is tackling it house by house.
âWe only spent 8 weeks in this house and completely transformed it,â said Woods.
The properties are donated by the neighborhood association.
âWe don’t spend any dollars on these acquisitions, but of course these are pretty expensive in cash,â Woods said.
Two cohorts of teenagers led the work on Wednesday, bringing the house closer to completion.
“They are making $ 15 an hour rehabilitating these properties, but they are also getting equity in these homes.”
They work with young people aged 16 to 24. This 19-year-old Raymond Moore is in his third year with the program.
âYou always want to see the development, so that’s my big thing. I like to start projects after and after and it just makes me want to keep doing more,â Moore said.
Woods says it’s a win for entrepreneurs too.
âSo they build those relationships. They get their hands on young people, but they also put them in a position to be hired on a paid basis with them, which allows them to really grow their business, âsaid Les bois.
Woods says it lifts Hyde Park.
âThis will be the place to be. If you’re not here, are you going to be really, really, jealous,â Woods said. âThese homes are really beautiful. The community members are amazing. We hope to add to that and bring in more like-minded people who really want to have that sense of pride and really want to call Hyde Park home.
Staff from 5 On Your Side joined the Dream Builders team on Wednesday, helping with clean-up and landscaping in support of our ongoing service initiative Project 5. 5 On Your Side and our parent company, TEGNA , donated $ 10,000 to Dream Builders 4 Equity through the TEGNA Foundation.
Dream Builders are also working on the creation of a chess park in Hyde Park with seats and a pavilion.
RELATED: 5 On Your Side and the TEGNA Foundation Award $ 40,000 in Community Grants to Help Four St. Louis Area Nonprofits
How to help
Dream Builders 4 Equity is always looking for volunteers to help clean up these properties. Materials, funds and workers are also needed.
Learn more about the Dream Builders 4 Equity website.
5 At Your Side is committed to making a difference in our community. We are serving the region and helping people in need with Project 5. Project 5 highlights the good work being done by individuals and non-profit organizations.
See more features of Project 5 here.