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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer today launched REImage, an initiative set to help young adults in aspects from continuing their education to getting a job to coping with drug and alcohol issues. One hundred local young adults will get a second chance at success through this new city initiative.
The REimage program will target young people, ages 18-24, who are facing adult misdemeanor charges. Program mentors and case managers will help the youth navigate the court system, connect with jobs and further their education by obtaining a GED or enrolling in college or training. They will also receive guidance and support in dealing with personal issues such as addressing their charges with employers, parenthood and alcohol and drug use.
“Giving these young people a second chance is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for our economy and a key part of our strategy for creating safer neighborhoods,” Fischer said. “Connecting them to education and jobs increases their chance for success, while simultaneously reducing the odds that they will be further involved in crime and violence.”
REimage is an initiative of the city’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. The purpose of the Office is to facilitate Louisville being a community which supports every citizen from Prenatal – through – Education – to – Career.
This new effort of REImage extends the work that KentuckianaWorks and the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods are already doing through the federally-funded Right Turn program. Right Turn works with young people ages 16 to 21 who have had brushes with the juvenile justice system, or are at high risk of continuing a crime filled path. Fischer saw a need to expand the efforts of the Right Turn Program toward young adults who are more involved with the court system, and also earmarked $200,000 in the current city budget.
Recruitment for the new program, which will be run by KentuckianaWorks, will focus primarily on the Russell and Shawnee neighborhoods of West Louisville, although young adults from other areas can also participate. Young adults interested can visit the Baxter or Shawnee Community Centers on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. or stop by the Kentucky Youth Career Center, 510 W. Broadway, Suite 701, Mon-Thurs., 9 a.m.-12 p.m. They can call the KYCC at 574-4115.
“Beyond the focused mentoring and individual support that can make a world of difference, our agency can connect these young adults to realistic and rewarding job and career pathways in manufacturing, technology, healthcare and other in-demand fields,” said Michael Gritton, executive director of KentuckianaWorks.
Fischer said adult volunteers are still needed to mentor youth enrolled in the REimage program. All volunteers will be screened and trained. Individuals and organizations interested in mentoring should contact the Kentucky Youth Career Center at 574-4115.