top of page




PAtrick johnson Community Youth Center

BACK STORY Over the summer months OF 2019 members of Rebuilding the Village, Inc. namely: Patrick Johnson from the DA’s office; Craig Grant from the Home Ownership Center; community member Roosevelt Patterson, and myself have been working with youth in the city of Utica who have been identified as exhibiting criminal behavior throughout the city.

Law enforcement, City officials, and the community at large all agree that these behaviors have become a menace to the quality of life in Utica and it is incumbent upon all concerned to provide positive intervention. Our goal is to interrupt these behaviors and offer alternatives such as employment, life-skills training, and other opportunities for these young people to use their energies in more positive ways. Councilman Robert DeSanctis has very graciously partnered with us to provide work opportunities in his business for several of the young men, and has extended his help in providing transportation and teaching them employer expectations, and a work ethic. We look forward to collaboration with other members of the council and the administration to help save these young people, many of whom, through no fault of their own, lack strong family supports, values and guidance.

We met with the youth several times during July, and during the month of August we met on 8/6, 8/13, 8/20 and 8/27. So far, in September, we met on 9/3. The number of youths increase each time. These meetings have taken place at 230 James Street usually on Tuesdays. Attendance has ranged from four (4) to twelve (12) young men. At the meetings we have provided refreshments and we’ve discussed a range of topics such as: improving communication skills; family /life issues; employer expectations; individual responsibility; changing behaviors; exploring personal gifts and talents; and planning for the future. This has been a learning experience for all involved.

We adults have learned more about the generation gap, how and in what ways family breakdown impacts our youth, and the miscommunications and disconnect in race relations. Rebuilding the Village, Inc. would like to build on the success that we’ve had in engaging this at-risk and acting out youth population by providing a permanent, structured, youth program three days per wee
k in the Cornhill community.

Youth Diversion Mentoring Program (YDMP)

Rebuilding the Village, Inc., is focused on the revitalization of the Cornhill community in the city of Utica New York. This Program’ is seeking start-up funding of $54,276.00, from multiple sources, to conduct a one- year demonstration for an evidence-based youth diversion mentoring program for male youth between the ages of 14 and 24, in the City of Utica, who have had prior involvement with the juvenile justice system. This targeted population of troubled youth, predominately African-American males, are known to law enforcement in Utica as possible participants in gang related gun violence within the city, and are likely to have a criminal history. The Youth Diversion Mentoring Program (YDMP)proposes to work together with the Utica Police Department’s Juvenile Aid Unit as a community response to the youth violence. The YDMP will provide a range of services to the youth and their families towards the goal of: diverting youth from the juvenile justice system; offering alternatives to criminal behavior; and helping youth to gain life and work skills to turn their lives around. Measurable outcomes will include: a reduction in youth gang activity; reduced recidivism for youth offenders, and an increase in community involvement in finding solutions to youth related crimes and gun violence.

bottom of page