YouthBuild Helps a Neighbor in Need


When Uneek Lowe thinks of the Community Action Agency two words come to mind, “Impressed and grateful.”  The Golf Manor homeowner is truly thankful for the assistance she received recently from CAA’s YouthBuild program with an emergency home repair.  

Lowe’s ordeal started with a few sagging ceiling tiles in her dining room, but with each passing day more tiles started sagging until half the ceiling was caving in. “I thought, the whole ceiling is going to come down. It was a mess,” said Lowe. She placed several calls to a local non-profit well known for serving the elderly and disabled, but after weeks of waiting for an answer, was told there was nothing they could do.

With her ceiling on the verge of collapse, she called the State of Ohio and was referred to CAA’s Shawn Kerley, who assured her that she would receive help. “I could hear in her voice that she was at the end of her rope and really needed help,” said Kerley. Special consideration was given to Lowe who has suffered most of her adult life from a genetic brain disorder. It has limited her ability to work and live a full life. Lowe says she’s “been through a lot.”

Like Lowe the young men of CAA’s YouthBuild program have ‘been through a lot’. Many are disadvantaged and at risk, YouthBuild is helping keep them out of trouble and on the right path.  A crew of three YouthBuild participants was sent to Lowe’s home to make the ceiling repairs. Supervised by a professional, they put their heart and soul in the project, which was about more than just fixing an old ceiling; it was also about putting the pieces of their own lives together and helping someone at the same time.

Eager to speak on his experience, 23 year old Jerome Battiste, said, “If I didn’t have YouthBuild I would be locked up.” He has earned a GED and has a desire to do better. “I want to lead by example for my son.” Jerome’s goal is to attend the University of Cincinnati. For now he’s happy helping Lowe and others. Battiste and the YouthBuild crew completed the ceiling in less than two days.

An emotional Lowe said, “I want them to know what they have done for me - what they’re doing really means something.” Lowe plans to attend the upcoming YouthBuild graduation to show the crew just how much she cares.