Building Futures

YEP trains young people in construction while they engage in projects that directly benefit the community. To date, hundreds of YEP trainees have rehabilitated more than 50 homes for low-income families. They have also rehabilitated several public facilities, including YEP’s own building in the San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland. YEP was one of the first organizations in the nation to integrate green practices into our construction training.

Currently, YEP trainees maintain our building, most recently refurbishing and redesigning computer classroom space. They will soon become part of the work crew renovating space in our headquarters which will become a commercial kitchen.

Increasing Low Income Housing Stock in Oakland

Through a partnership with Urban Strategies and the Oakland Community Land Trust, YEP will provide Oakland’s young adults with the employment and educational skills and certifications they need to build net zero energy (NZE) homes, and will work with our trainees to hone those skills while they erect homes to be sold to low-income families—kept in low-income housing stock in perpetuity. We piloted this project building two single family homes in East Oakland three years ago, and we’re ramping up to expand our work. We feel that giving residents the knowledge, skills and ability to transform their neighborhoods one lot at a time will have short and long term impacts on program participants, neighborhoods, the environment and low-income families.

Our pilot included the Oakland Housing Authority as well, and the finished home flyers can be found here.

The Training Grounds

YEP operates two cafes—one at the Oakland Airport, and the other at the San Leandro Juvenile Justice Center—where young people learn customer service skills and the principles of operating a successful social enterprise.