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Franklinton Rising offer on-the-job construction training to at-risk youth

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Transformation is underway on Chicago Avenue in the Franklinton area of West Columbus.

Not just with some of the homes but also with people's lives, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Columbus Realtors Foundation.

Organizers said half of that money, $50,000, is going to the group Franklinton Rising.

"We use the blighted housing as our training laboratory," said Steve Wathen, a Franklinton Rising board member.

He said the lab creates hope for the future.

"It’s about restoring neighborhoods, understanding that neighborhoods are first people," said Wathen.

"So we’re training these folks, placing them in jobs, breaking the cycle of poverty, and at the same time, the work they’re doing in a training program is restoring and building new affordable housing in these communities."

Lathaniam Covington has worked with the group since high school.

"I’ve been learning about remodeling, installation," he said. "HVAC. I’ve been learning landscaping which I’m trying to do. Once I get my license and stuff, I’m gonna go into a landscaping company."

He said he thinks about the family who will live in the house he is working on.

"It makes me feel happy," he said. "I'm glad that people can live in it, to get a roof over their head, have their fun chilling at their house, and being with their family, so it feels good."

Grant money will help groups offer on-the-job construction training to at-risk youth in hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty. (WSYX)

The other $50,000 will go to Vista Village, which will soon begin construction on a gated community of tiny homes in a field near Hamilton and Refugee Roads.

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