YNDC adds new members to help clean up vacant Youngstown homes

Seventeen new AmeriCorps members were sworn in to the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation program Friday

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) added some new team members on Friday.

Seventeen new AmeriCorps members were sworn in, committing to the YNDC program for the next year. They will help to spruce up the city of Youngstown and help to revitalize the area.

“They cut grass at about 3,000 vacant homes, just in the past couple months. They’ve boarded up 275 houses. They clean up vacant houses,” said YNDC Director Ian Beniston.

Daniel Mitchell is one of the AmeriCorps members who was sworn in Friday. He says he is committed to working with YNDC for the next year to help revitalize Youngstown.

“One of the big problems in Youngstown is the blight and the abandoned houses and things of that nature,” he said.

Mitchell has lived on the south side of Youngstown his whole life. It’s the changes he started to notice around his city that got him thinking.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of community gardens and things like that, and I was interested in who was responsible. When I applied, I found out that these guys were responsible for it,” he said.

Mitchell has already been working with YNDC for a month now. Beniston said these volunteers are vital to YNDC’s success.

“Without having them here, we wouldn’t be able to cut grass at nearly as many houses, board up as many, renovate as many. So people wouldn’t be seeing the same level of improvement in their neighborhoods,” he said.

All of the AmeriCorps members are getting job training during the program, while building their resumes. At the end of their program, they will get an education award up to $6,000.