I have had the pleasure of working on designing a home remodel for a fantastic project that I didn’t even know existed- It is called the Constructing a Future Program and it is run through a joint venture between the Bannock County Juvenile Justice, the City of Pocatello, and Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services. The house that you see on the right is a house that the city of Pocatello owns. Dan Montgomery, a local Juvenile Justice Officer, spear heads the local juveniles that have been in trouble with the law and teaches them a trade. For their work on the house, the juveniles get paid minimum wage. Each one of these workers owes restitution to someone and the wages that they earn while working on the house learning a trade goes to the victim for restitution. The juvenile works until all restitution is paid to the victim.
This arrangement provides practical trade experience for troubled youth and a way to pay their debt to their victims. After the juvenile has paid their restitution, they then have a job reference from the county, and training in a trade. As Dan Montgomery explained, if they (the juveniles) were to go get a McDonalds type job, the youth could do what they wanted with their checks and the probability that they would pay their restitution is less likely. They also wouldn’t have a supervisor that was concerned about their social growth and development making the chances of them returning to detention very high.
All work is checked and guided by a general contractor through PNHS and all of the proceeds from the sale of the house are put back into the program. The homes are generally located in neighborhoods that could use some revitalization. The home I had the privilege of designing home remodel plans for is located at 235 West Carson here in Pocatello. This particular house was being used by railroad transients and was vacant. The conditions were awful- and the home had to be taken down to the studs. The new plans include a three bedroom- two bath home, a full kitchen and lots of open space and storage options. The picture on the left, above, is a rendering of the proposed kitchen/dining area with a view toward the living room on the right. The exterior shot in the center, above, is a proposed rendering of the outside after all repairs are made. I am looking forward to seeing the finished project and I am proud to say I helped in the process of turning a run-down eyesore into a training opportunity and a future home for a deserving family.