Oakland hires at-risk youth to fight graffiti

October 3, 2008 1:17:38 PM PDT
Two Oakland nonprofits and the Redevelopment Agency plan to train and hire "at-risk" youth to abate graffiti in key redevelopment areas, a partnership that was announced this week.

The nonprofits, Cypress Mandela Training Center Inc. and Youth Employment Partnership Inc., specialize in providing workforce training for at-risk youth and will each train anywhere from five to 15 people to clean up the streets, a redevelopment agency spokesman said.

Agency spokesman Yonathan Santana said since the funding is coming from the redevelopment agency, the youth will stick to cleaning redevelopment areas for now. Santana said he hopes the five or six month program will also eventually expand to areas such as Broadway.

According to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' office, the City Council approved $75,000 for workforce training in West Oakland and Coliseum Redevelopment project areas.