Augusta YDC inmates recognized for community service project

These young men spent their summer helping those outside the gates from within. (WRDW-TV / July 28, 2011)

These young men spent their summer helping those outside the gates from within. (WRDW-TV / July 28, 2011)

News 12 at 6 o'clock/ July 28, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Young men accused of crimes have landed at the Augusta Youth Development Campus.

Many hope to reconstruct their futures, in the meantime, they take on another building project.

This unique partnership with Habitat for Humanity gives them the ability to help those outside the gates from within.

Their only weapons were tools. For six weeks, these boys worked to build a storage facility.

"It feels good to know that we helped somebody who is going to need it later on in the future," said 19-year-old Jodarian Woods.

It's now being donated to Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit organization that builds homes for people in need.

"They have just had something happen in their lives and they ended up here so as we were shaking their hands and you looked at them, we are really hoping that this was an opportunity for them to do something positive to feel good about themselves," said CSRA Habitat for Humanity President of Board Directors Jim Frye.

This project also built relationships and constructed futures.

"After having this, I might go for construction because I'm already certified, so when I get out I have something to do and look forward to," Woods said.

As with any building project, there are limitations and for this particular project, they had to be careful of their dimensions because they had to get them through these gates -- no wider, no taller.

"It's as much of a return to us to see the smiles and the faces of these young people this morning as a return on the investment they've made as it is for us to hand over a key to someone who is getting a new home," Frye said.

So after two months, this project is complete. Meanwhile for these boys, they have a project of their own that is still under construction.

"We're more than criminals," Woods said. "We can do things that people don't think we can do."

The boys got their certificates of appreciation Thursday. They also get credit that goes toward technical certification. That credit transfers making the transition easier for them when they leave.

The shed will be taken to Habitat for Humanity's administrative office on Walton Way.

That is where it will be used to store the main office's supplies and essentials.


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