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"To build a community of young people and adults committed to taking responsibility for their own lives and for improving the larger community." The basic premise of Youth Action Programs and Homes, Inc. (YAPH) is to demonstrate how young people can be a strong force for good in their communities. Most youth have a clear perception of what is wrong in the world and vivid ideas for constructive change, but in most cases they lack the confidence and skills needed to carry them out. A key role of YAPH’s adult staff is to draw out the young people’s ideas, provide the personal support and technical assistance necessary to realize them.
Youth Action Programs and Homes, Inc aka Youth Action YouthBuild/ East Harlem is a community development organization located in East Harlem, NYC. Founded in 1978, YAPH was created as a means to give young people in the neighborhood an opportunity to demonstrate themselves as real resources for the community and provide the needed leadership to address the most pressing problems facing the community. Youth Build grew out of a group of out of school, unemployed, low income young people (opportunity youth) in East Harlem partnering with our founder Dorothy Stoneman to rehabilitate abandoned buildings and turn these into permanent affordable housing. The Youth Build program incorporates high school equivalency instruction, construction skills training and certifications, community service and youth activism for opportunity youth ages 16-24 years. Today Youth Action remains a force for positive youth development and affordable housing in East Harlem. This original work has spawned other YouthBuild programs across the United States and in 13 countries. The East Harlem program has a staff of ten who serve up to 50 local youth annually for a period of ten months. We provide additional support and resources to our students and alums to help them progress through the program and beyond. We help them to transition into full-time jobs, post secondary education and additional vocational training programs.