When Camden Catholic High School graduate and Lawnside resident Sean Benton lost his job,
“He was left feeling expendable, he said. ‘I am here speaking for the have-nots,’ Benton said, as he talked about YouthBuild, a national program to put 16- to 24-year-olds through job training and life skills classes, all while building homes for the homeless.
Many of the at-risk youth participating in YouthBuild Camden, a program of the Camden Housing Authority, and building homes for the homeless may actually themselves be homeless or have been homeless in the past. Youth experiencing homelessness face challenges in finishing high school, attending college or training programs and finding steady employment. Without a permanent address, it is difficult to fill out a college, training program or job application.
New Jersey Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1) joined Secretary Perez and spoke to the students about his personal experience in learning a trade.
“Not everybody wants or needs to go to college. And an alternative path that can be just as rewarding, especially if you’re not carrying a quarter-million dollars in debt, is through the trades.”