Senator Montgomery and the Senate Democratic Conference call for $10.1 million in funding for Youthbuild programs in the 2017-2018 budget

DREAMS Youthbuild join members of the NYS YouthBuild Coalition in Albany to meet with legislators and advocate for funding to support and expand Youthbuild programs statewide.

Senator Montgomery and members of the Senate Democratic Conference have called for $10.1 million in state funding to be appropriated for Youthbuild programs in the 2017-18 budget.

As the fight continues to Raise the Age in New York State, Senator Montgomery and the Senate Democratic Conference continue their movement to transform the juvenile justice system. Youthbuild is an alternative-to-incarceration and diversion program that has successfully transformed the lives of thousands of youth since the program began in 1978.

Senator Montgomery is also the proud sponsor of the "New York State Youthbuild Act" (S.3738/A.13) which would create a program that would provide grants to eligible YouthBuild programs in New York State. The YouthBuild Act would appropriate the sum of $20 million per year for a period of three years in order to carry out the costs associated with the demonstration program. The Act would create a nine member interagency board, appointed by the Governor, that would make grants to eligible YouthBuild applicants in order to sustain existing programs and expand programs throughout the State.

The nationally acclaimed Youthbuild model engages low-income, out-of-school youth in a program that provides education, job skills training, certifications and leadership development. The program consists of GED classes, construction training, computer classes, job readiness classes, life skills classes, job placement assistance, vocational and self development counseling, college preparation and placement assistance, mentoring, and community service activities.

Youthbuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low‐income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In Youthbuild programs, low‐income young people and youth who have been formerly incarcerated work toward their GED or high school diploma, learn job skills, serve their communities by building affordable housing for low-income families and transform their own lives and roles in society. 

YouthBuild provides opportunities for follow-up, placement services and stipends to out-of-school, out-of-work youth aged 16-24, as well as ongoing placement services and support for thousands of YouthBuild alumni.  NYS monies, if awarded, will allow for the continuation of the eighteen currently operating YouthBuild programs statewide and provide them an opportunity to expand their services to additional youth.

The creation of affordable housing is an additional community benefit of this organization. Since 1994, 30,000 units of affordable housing have been produced or upgraded by 140,000 YouthBuild students across the US, and 5,000 of those students have been from New York.  

Many New York communities would lose one of its most valuable and successful youth diversion programs. YouthBuild dedicates itself to our communities by moving young people toward self-sufficiency, and ensuring that participants develop skills for work and beyond.

To learn more about Senator Montgomery's "New York State Youthbuild Act" Legislation, visit

To learn more about funding for Youthbuild programs in New York State, download Senator Montgomery's letter.

To learn more about Senator Montgomery's work with Youthbuild, visit the following links:


For more information about the DREAMS Youthbuild, call 718.455.4308 or visit

For more information about the NYS YouthBuild Coalition, contact: Bonnie Landi, Chair, NYS YouthBuild Coalition: 845/339-2757, or