Youth Build expands as Hope VI families move back into Smoketown

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A program that has helped hundreds of local teens make positive changes is expanding.

Youth Build is expanding to make room for all of the families moving back into the Smoketown area that was once Sheppard Square.

Tanasha Wallace admits she was a bit of a hell raiser back in the day. "Just hanging in the streets, you know, sun up, sun down with my friends, you know, trying to fit in. Getting high, drinking,” Wallace said. "I actually did get put out of school."

But today is a new day and it might surprise you to see the résumé of the crew working to renovate a house in West Louisville.

“Now I just really was like focusing on my future," Wallace said. She's part of Youth Build's latest expansion project.

”The young people that we will be focusing on will be coming from the Smoketown area," executive director Lynn Rippy said.

Youth Build has helped hundreds of troubled youth make positive changes over the years.

"We have worked really hard to understand the needs of the community,” Rippy said.

Now the organization is expanding to make room for families moving back to the area as part of the Hope 6 project.

"So we have been able to add another 10 young people this year and we're hoping that with the addition of the building that we'll be able to add another 50 young people into training programs throughout the year," Rippy explains.

"I kind of wish I didn't do it," Wallace said of things from her past, but she can't change that now and the expansion is helping to change her focus.

“I'm so ready for college,” she said. “My goal is to get into U of L. I want to be a construction manager, that's what I want to do."

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