Important work is going on at 2615 Magazine Street. It is the continuation of efforts to convert vacant and abandoned property into suitable housing while at the same time providing needed skills training and employment to those looking for a second chance in life.
On Saturday, Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton joined the Reverend Charles Elliott and representatives of organized labor in the Louisville area to applaud the efforts of “Jesus and a Job.”
“We have more than 5,000 vacant and abandoned properties in our city and as we continue to work towards returning those properties to livable affordable housing, this effort shows one of the ways to tackle the problem one house at a time,” says Hamilton.
For several weeks, the “Jesus and a Job” program has been working to convert 2615 Magazine Street from an abandoned structure into an affordable home for an individual or a needy family.
“It is our hope that when finished, this house could be the first home for a person looking to first rent and then buy and become part of the community,” says Rev. Elliott. “This is the fourth house the program has worked on since the beginning of the year.”
“Jesus and a Job” is a program that employs ex-felons to work on abandoned properties. By giving them a job, the program hopes they will learn a skilled trade and have a better transition back in the community as a productive citizen.
The program has been helped with funding from Heaven Hill and additional revenues from other community groups. It also has assistance from volunteers from many area labor organizations, who provide their time and talent to work on the properties. The program has also been able to utilize recent changes to allow the purchase of abandoned property, through the Landbank at minor cost.
“This is a great partnership that has brought together those in need and those who want to help,” said Hamilton. “It shows we are working to transform neighborhoods.”
Among the groups assisting “Jesus and a Job”:
I.B.E.W. Local 369
UAW Local 862
Greater Louisville Central Labor Council
L.I.U.N.A Local 576
Greater Louisville Building Trade Unions
Construction Labor District Council
Whitney Young Job Center
Albeys tree Services